'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
Police probe Mario Balotelli racist abuse as Kick It Out voice their displeasure
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3 player ratings: Leonard Ulloa? Radamel Falcao? Jamie Vardy? Angel Di Maria? Who was the star man?
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'