Rio Ferdinand will not evaluate Manchester United progress until Christmas

 

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."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride