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Joyce: Manchester United reserve team role paved way for Scholes return

The Red Devils coach believes that the long-serving midfielder's second-string "kickabouts" before Christmas set the ball rolling for his retirement U-turn in January

Manchester United reserve team coach Warren Joyce believes that Paul Scholes' training with his side before Christmas paved the way for the midfielder's first-team return.

The veteran announced his retirement from football at the end of the 2010-11 season, but returned to the Red Devils in January of this year, helping them to a second-place finish - losing out on the title on goal difference.

And now Scholes is planning to stay on at the club for another season, with Joyce opining that his run-outs with the reserves were a boost for both the young and old.

"It was good for [the reserves] to train with Paul Scholes before Christmas, to get him involved with training and see how to act properly," he told the club's official website. "He didn’t want to not be top man. His pride wanted him to be the best player and he raised the bar in training.

"I think it was good for him as well. Maybe, he just trained like he did when he was 18 again and working under Eric Harrison in the youth team. He was at them and they were at him. There was great spirit – he was kicking them and they were kicking him!"

Joyce also believes that his current reserve players are of a similar type to Scholes and Ryan Giggs and, while he stopped short of saying that they would be as good as that duo, he praised them for their down-to-earth nature.

"You look at the likes of Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes, for all they have done in football, which is unbelievable," he added. "Yet they are very humble and down-to-earth. Whilst these lads have done nothing yet, they are in a similar mould to that.

"I'm not saying they are as good as players or they will be but they are normal, humble lads who just want to be footballers and are not interested in the other things that surround footballers and young players. They just want to work as hard as they can every day."

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