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."
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
Latest in Sport
Transfer news round-up: Barcelona to offer £37m for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie; Manuel Neuer interests Manchester City; Luiz Gustavo on Tottenham radar
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial