'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
Arsenal transfer latest: Arsene Wenger set to sign...no one on transfer deadline day as manager heads to Rome to referee charity match
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court