'We want to win it': Rio Ferdinand looking forward to FA Cup
Manchester United defender returns to old stomping ground West Ham
Friday 04 January 2013
Rio Ferdinand returns to his old Upton Park stamping ground tomorrow insisting Manchester United are as keen to win the FA Cup as they are any other competition.
United recorded the last of their record 10 triumphs in the competition nine years ago, when they beat Millwall at the Millennium Stadium.
Since then they have competed in three Champions League finals and one semi, in addition to winning the Premier League on four occasions, and with Sir Alex Ferguson set to make big changes for the third round tie against West Ham, it seems the tournament has tumbled down the list of priorities.
Yet Ferdinand - who missed that 2004 game as he was serving his suspension for missing a drugs test - insists such an assessment is false.
"We never go into a tournament thinking we don't mind leaving it and are happy to go out," he said.
"This is no different to any competition. We want to win it. West Ham at Upton Park is always a hard game. We know what we are in for.
"It will be tough but it is a match we are more than capable of winning."
However, it is quite conceivable Ferguson could select a completely different starting line-up to the one he picked at Wigan on New Year's Day.
Darren Fletcher, for instance, has not started a game since December 1 after being involved in three of the previous four.
Shinji Kagawa needs additional match practice after his knee injury, whilst Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are also searching for full fitness after their early-season absences.
With Anders Lindegaard and Alex Buttner also due a game, Ferguson could switch half his team without even thinking whether Wayne Rooney is ready to return following the knee injury he sustained at Swansea on December 22.
Not that the United boss can afford to take it easy.
West Ham are likely to include Ferdinand's former team-mate Joe Cole and boast an impressive record of three wins from their past six encounters with United on home soil.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food