Although Newcastle United will provide tough opposition at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to promote a handful of promising reserve-team players, as has often been the case in this competition. Ferdinand, like the supporters, is aware of the extra focus on the teamsheet for this fixture.
"We have some really talented young players and I’m looking forward to seeing some of them," Ferdinand told ManUtd.com.
"I'm looking forward to maybe seeing our new signing from Chile, Angelo Henriquez. I’m sure Nick Powell will play and I’m looking forward to seeing him again too as he’s a very exciting prospect. I’m excited to perhaps see Jesse Lingard play and I think Larnell Cole [could feature] as well. There is Michael Keane at the back too. There are loads of them and I could go on and on and be here all day. Hopefully they can stamp their authority on the cup this year."
The cultured centre-back appreciates his responsibilities as a senior player at United having seen some experienced figures - the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Ji-sung Park - leave the club this summer.
"I just think it’s a natural progression for the senior players and it becomes your duty almost to not force it on the young players but to lead the way and lead by example," Rio stated. "When you need to talk to players or give them a nudge in the right direction, you’re there to do that. That’s what comes with being a Manchester United player after a few years."
After helping the likes of Scott Wootton and Tyler Blackett ease themselves into action on the DHL