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

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam