As covered by The Peoples Person, Ferdinand recently derided Jones’ injury record and even suggested the defender was taking up a youth place in the current squad.
However, Solskjaer today used his pre-match press conference to lambast his former colleague and launch a passionate defence of the luckless centre-back.
“I think that was out of order completely…Since I came here he’s battled with this knee injury, he’s put his body on the line, every single training session, every single game…
“Rio should know more than to go out and say this. I’ve wanted to say a lot but I’ve not said a lot about Phil’s injury because I’ve wanted to protect him.
“Phil’s never on social media, never asked to do interviews, he just gets his head down, proper, proper professional…”
On the defender’s prospects of a return to fitness, the Norwegian continued, “He’s working his way…Phil has battled valiantly, I’d say…and he’s now getting back to fitness…there can be a light at the end of the tunnel…
“I think Rio knows, I think he feels a little bit sorry about that one. I’ve not spoken to Rio but I think he should.”
It’s clear from the tone and content of Solskjaer’s diatribe that he strongly believes Ferdinand crossed a line with his comments.
Although the former United centre-back was widely seen as airing opinions that have been commonly shared by much of the United fan base, he’s clearly touched a nerve with his old teammate.
It’s to be hoped that Jones can justify his manager’s admirable optimism by returning to the spotlight as a result of performances rather than his ongoing absences.