The 38-year-old has been inundated with messages of support since replacing the sacked Claudio Ranieri on Thursday, including a text from former Manchester United boss Ferguson.

Parker has a difficult first assignment as a football manager, with the Cottagers 10 points adrift of safety and only 10 Premier League games remaining.

“Yesterday – I don’t really have many friends – the phone was just pinging away,” said Parker.

“I had some amazing text messages. Sir Alex text me late last night, which was pretty incredible – to think he spent the time to write a long, detailed message giving me some advice on how he sees things was truly inspirational. I know it sounds a big comment but it’s the truth.

“I think we all understand what the football world’s like, there’s times in despair or times when things are going well you really see the love.

“Certainly over the course of 24 hours, the phone has been pinging.”

Outgoing boss Ranieri returned to the club’s Motspur Park training ground on Friday morning to say his goodbyes.

Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured, was among the people wishing Scott Parker well at Fulham
Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured, was among the people wishing Scott Parker well at Fulham (Martin Rickett/PA)

Parker said there were no hard feelings from the experienced Italian, who lasted just 106 days in the job after replacing Slavisa Jokanovic in November.

“We all know what Claudio is like as a man – a true classy man in every sense and he came in this morning and addressed the players,” continued Parker.

“We had a 10-minute conversation in a room. I thanked him for his time and his effort with me and likewise the same.

“This is football and Claudio said to me: ‘We all understand how football works’. As a man, he’s a class act.”

The 19th-placed Cottagers suffered a seventh defeat from their last eight top-flight fixtures at Southampton in midweek, with Ranieri’s decision-making and appointment questioned by the unhappy travelling fans.

Parker is keen to secure the position on a permanent basis and is treating the next few months as an audition.

Despite survival being extremely unlikely, the former England international – who has been promoted from first-team coach and starts his tenure at home to Chelsea on Sunday – has not given up hope of a great escape as he attempts to unite the club.

 

“I have a dying ambition to be a manager, certainly at this present moment in time my main focus is trying to get the team together a little bit, a little stability, take a deep breath and work from there,” he said.

“As a club, as fans, players and ownership we need to regroup and I know if we do that, results will be a by-product from that.

“I’m not going to sit here and say we can get out of it.

“I realise the task ahead is very difficult, but it’s not mathematically impossible so certainly it’s something we’ll strive to do.”

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