Rio Ferdinand will not evaluate Manchester United progress until Christmas
Friday 09 November 2012
Rio Ferdinand will not make an assessment until Christmas about whether Manchester United can look forward to a season of promise.
A Capital One Cup defeat at Chelsea apart, it has been an excellent few weeks for the Red Devils.
Four successive Premier League wins has taken Sir Alex Ferguson's men to the top of the table, while on Wednesday they maintained a 100% record in the Champions League to book their place in the last 16 as group winners despite still having two matches remaining.
The Red Devils could certainly be forgiven a self-congratulatory pat on the back as they head to Aston Villa tomorrow evening.
Ferdinand believes it is far too early for that.
"I wouldn't say we are over-happy," he said.
"We are in the position we want to be.
"We set our stall out at the beginning of the Champions League to make sure we qualify comfortably. We have done that with games to spare.
"But in the league, Christmas is when we really evaluate it.
"If we are in the same position then as we are now, we would say it is a good start to the season.
"But it is still too early to look at the league table and start singing and dancing."
At a time when United's defensive resources have been stretched to the limit, Ferdinand's fitness has held up.
The 33-year-old made his 10th appearance of the season when he came on as a replacement for Jonny Evans in midweek and thankfully, it seems an answer has been found to those back problems which dogged him for so long.
"I have not been speaking about my injuries over the past few months because there haven't been any," said Ferdinand.
"Over the last 18 months I have managed it really well. The club have helped me. It is testament to the medical and science department that they have been able to help me along.
"It means I have been playing consistently, week in, week out.
"If the manager needs me to play in the midweek games, that is fine as well.
"I am more than capable of doing that, as I have proved over the past 18 months."
With Nemanja Vidic sidelined for virtually 12 months following two lots of knee surgery, Ferdinand has developed a useful partnership with Jonny Evans, who is closing in on 150 United appearances.
"Jonny is really maturing," he said.
"It is wrong to judge defenders when they are 21 or 22. You have to look beyond that. Wait until they have played 100 games, then see where they are at.
"Jonny is at that level now.
"He has been playing every week for the last year or so. We are reaping the benefits of that.
"He is a good reader of the game. He is good on the ball and enjoys defending, which is the most important part of it.
"He has a great Manchester United career ahead of him."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao latest: Manchester City bookies favourite but Arsenal also interested as Monaco put £20m loan fee on Colombian striker
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
Tim Sherwood column: I've been impressed with my Tottenham successor Mauricio Pochettino
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
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
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward