Rio Ferdinand vows to avoid an unwanted hat-trick - of seasons without a major trophy - in the second part of our exclusive interview, first published in Inside United ...
How do you assess the state of play in the league?
It’s the same old faces up there at the moment but I always think you get a better idea on things when you look at the league table towards the end of December. After Christmas is the time when some teams fall away or others stretch away and we want to be part of the latter group.
The first Manchester derby of the season is not that far away now. Is that something you’ve allowed yourself to get pumped up for yet?
Not really. You just wait for the game to come around. We have some important games before that and we’re just focused on them and not beyond at the moment.
Will the manner in which things ended last season be on your mind before the derby?
It’ll just be another derby game. I wouldn’t have thought what happened last season will be on my mind at all.
Is facing Manchester City one of your toughest assignments of the season as a centre-back, given the class and options they have up front?
It’s just another challenge which you’ve got to make sure you get through. We want to win the game and we know we’ve got to perform to our highest abilities to come out of that game with a victory because they’re a good team. You play against top players who pose different threats week in, week out and you just have to deal with those.
Our results in the Champions League have been positive so far this season but what have you made of the performances?
It’s been a solid start. Everyone has been conscious of last season and what happened and we knew we had to make sure we started things right this season and didn’t drop any silly points, especially at home. Last season people said to us we had an easy group and people have said the same this year, but you’ve got to go out and produce the performances to get the results. We've been a lot more focused on doing that this season.