Lewis was put in temporary charge following the departure of Chris Wilder, who left to join Northampton Town earlier in the week.
Ex-United captain and now City boss Ford, who played alongside Lewis in the 1980 and 90s said the former midfielder deserved to land the job.
“I don’t know what Mickey thinks about the job,” said Ford, who had two spells as U’s caretaker boss. “But for me, someone like Mickey would be a good choice because he has earned the right to manage the team.”
Ford, however, has ruled himself out of contention for the United hot-seat.
He added: “I have got a really important job to do here because we are third from bottom and I want to make sure I do this one before I would consider anything else.
“The United job is a good job, a top job, but I’m not even considering it.
“I am really happy at this club.”