Rio Ferdinand's comeback pleases Manchester United

Manchester United are confident Rio Ferdinand will benefit from his quicker-than-expected return to first-team duties.

While Ferdinand was always confident he would get over a calf problem in time to face Tottenham on Saturday, Sir Alex Ferguson was less sure his £29.1million central defender would make his first appearance of the season at White Hart Lane.

As it turned out, the 30-year-old was correct and he came through the entire 90 minutes as United recorded a notable early-season victory.

Ferdinand has also travelled to Istanbul as the Red Devils begin their quest to reach a third successive Champions League final against Besiktas tomorrow night.

United assistant manager Mike Phelan said: "Rio worked hard during the last couple of weeks.

"He got the treatment he needed and was able to get out onto the training ground.

"We were pushing him a bit to play but he will be better for it."

With Wes Brown also back, Sir Alex Ferguson may now consider allowing Jonny Evans to have an operation to solve a niggling ankle problem that has plagued him for the past 12 months.

The Northern Ireland international confirmed his position as the automatic stand-in for both Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic last season and performed admirably with both senior figures consigned to spells on the sidelines.

But the Belfast-born star has no intention of declaring himself part of the Old Trafford fabric just yet.

"You don't sit down after one game and think 'Oh, I'm a Manchester United player now'," he told Inside United.

"There are plenty of players who played even 100 games for this club and aren't remembered.

"You want to make your mark on the history of the club. It is only then you can walk away and say 'I made it at United'."

For Ferguson, tomorrow night's game against a Besiktas side hammered by Galatasaray at the weekend begins the rebuilding process after a summer of soul-searching.

Taken on its own, losing to Barcelona in Rome is not a cause for major recrimination.

Yet the comprehensive manner of defeat did cause Ferguson to stop and think.

"That night was disappointing," he said.

"You can look at reasons and excuses and it's always better to look at the reasons.

"If they are good reasons you can put that to the back of your mind and go away and live your life. If there were no reasons at all then we would be worried but I think there were valid reasons so we will move on.

"I took the DVD on holiday and went through everything. It made me feel more honest about the whole build-up and everything.

"Did we have the right hotel? Things like this. The training, everything. We looked at all of it so I am quite clear about where we are and where we go.

"The problems can be put right and they certainly will be put right."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'