Rio Ferdinand says pre-season tour offers chance for Manchester United players to impress David Moyes

The defender expects an extra sharpness

Rio Ferdinand expects there to be an extra sharpness about Manchester United during their pre-season campaign due to the desire to impress new manager David Moyes.

Ferdinand is about to enter his 12th season at United, and the current tour of the Far East is his fourth such expedition to this part of the world.

All the rest have been under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson but the Scot's retirement has brought a seismic change at Old Trafford.

And Ferdinand believes the impact will particularly be felt on the training ground.

"It's natural that everybody is trying to impress on this tour," Ferdinand told http://www.manutd.com.

"When you get a new manager you want to show him that you should be in the starting XI for that first day of the new season. That process has started already."

With one former team-mate, Phil Neville, installed as a coach, and a current one, Ryan Giggs, combining a backroom role with his playing responsibilities, there is an air of familiarity about Moyes' work.

And the general consensus is that United remain a tight-knit group.

"We've been back from our holidays for more than a week and it's been a really good start," said Ferdinand.

"It's been very hard but it's been enjoyable and we'll see the benefits of the work we've been putting in back in Manchester and the work we're about to do on tour in the shape of better fitness and a better understanding of the personalities of the players and coaching staff.

"It's a new era for all of us. Hopefully things will come together and we can get off to a good start once the season begins."

As usual, United's arrival in this part of the world attracted crowds, both at Bangkok airport and team hotel.

It is the scale and intensity of this support for the club upon which so much of their huge commercial success is based and it would be no surprise to learn the opening game of United's five-match tour of the Far East and Australia, against Singha All Stars on Saturday, is a sell-out.

Moyes' first task, along with Giggs, who has taken on a player-coach role this season, was to sign a book of good wishes for the Thai king, who is so revered in the country.

Although United's players were allowed some rest after their 12-hour flight, a closed-doors training session was planned for later in the day.

With Robin van Persie missing this leg of the tour, which moves on to Australia on Sunday before stops in Yokohama, Osaka and finally Hong Kong on July 29, Wayne Rooney will be the centre of attention.

Moyes has done as much as he can to deal with the matter, although the chatter will continue until Rooney states his intentions.

And another dark cloud has appeared in the form of reports in Spain that Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara is on the brink of joining Bayern Munich.

It had been thought Thiago had opted to join United after deciding his hopes of securing a place in Spain's World Cup squad were best served away from the Nou Camp.

However, it seems the player has instead decided to link up with former boss Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.

If confirmed, the news will be a blow to Moyes, who had hoped to use Thiago to bolster a midfield lacking Paul Scholes, who has retired, and for whom the futures of Darren Fletcher and Anderson in particular are uncertain.

PA

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
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'