'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
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
Chelsea vs Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini pours scorn on anti-Chelsea 'campaign' but refuses to discuss Jose Mourinho's 'Pellegrino' slight
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account