CHERRIES star Joshua King acknowledges Manchester United gave him an excellent grounding – but insists he has no affinity to the club.

King is tomorrow set to return to Old Trafford, hoping to help Cherries spring a surprise against Jose Mourinho’s Premier League big guns (12.30pm).

Frontman King was signed by the Red Devils as a 16-year-old, having been talent-spotted during a youth tournament in his native Norway.

He spent around five years at Old Trafford, honing his skills in the club’s much-vaunted Academy ranks.

But after being restricted to two brief substitute appearances for the first team during an injury-plagued stay, the striker joined Blackburn in January 2013.

King, who joined Cherries in a £1million move following their promotion to the Premier League, lined up for Eddie Howe’s team in their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford in May.

Asked what it had been like to go back, King replied: “I don’t have any emotions for it. I have never been a United fan and have never supported any team.

“When I played at Old Trafford, I didn’t think too much about it. It was a football game between 22 men on the pitch so I didn’t really put too much emotion into it.”

Asked whether he had had any dealings with Sir Alex Ferguson during his time at the club, King said: “I was with the ressies. I trained a few times with the first team but was never part of the first-team dressing room.

“He was probably one of the best managers in the world and I have nothing bad to say about him.

“To be a part of the first team, you had to have made that step. He wanted you to know that you had to work hard to get to the first team.

“All the youngsters had to wear black boots and weren’t allowed to train wearing gloves before they had reached the first team.

“He helped keep a lot of the young players’ heads planted and nobody ever thought they were better than they were. It was probably the best school to go to as a young player.”

King’s two appearances for United – one in the Champions League against Galatasaray – totalled 14 minutes: “I had spells where I was doing well but I had so many injuries. I had five years and was probably injured for two-and-a-half.

“The weird thing was when they signed me, they knew this was going to happen. I was skinny and small and, when you sign for United, they used to have these scans to see how you were going to grow.

“They said I wasn’t going to be that tall, apparently because I have asthma and the medicine can make you not as big as you are supposed to be.

“I have had asthma for my whole career so wouldn’t blame that for anything. I take medicine every morning and it is no biggie.”