Under-pressure Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has thanked Alex Ferguson for his public show of support.
The Premier League champions have endured a miserable season to date, with only 15 points to their name from the opening 15 matches of the league campaign after a shock home loss to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
Ferguson, though, said this week he does not expect the slump to last and called on Blues owner Roman Abramovich not to sack the Portuguese.
That endorsement pleased Mourinho, who thanked the former Manchester United manager and praised his honesty.
Mourinho said: “Some people told me [what Ferguson had said].
“There is a difference between friends, the fake friends and the ones that are honest and show immediately their feelings towards you.
“Sir Alex is my friend and obviously the words are very nice. I believe he is not the kind of person who says it because he likes somebody.
“It is because he is honest and I thank him.”
Chelsea are at home to Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.