FOOTBALL NEWS

15/01/2013 15:00, Report by Adam Marshall
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Rio: Hammers tie special

Rio Ferdinand admits playing against West Ham is always a special occasion for him ahead of Wednesday's FA Cup replay at Old Trafford.

The cultured defender was in good form against Liverpool at the weekend and will hope to feature against his former club after sitting on the bench for the 2-2 draw at Upton Park.

With doubts over Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans' involvement, and the possibility that Rafael might be rested with the likely assignment of marking danger-man Gareth Bale against Tottenham this Sunday in mind, the 34-year-old may play at the heart of the back-four.

"West Ham is special for me," said the centre-back. "I look at West Ham as being a similar club to Manchester United in terms of their history and the way they keep all their people for so many years. Here, you see Cath on reception who has been here 30-odd years. It is similar at West Ham with Jimmy Frith and people like that. It is a club that is close to my heart because I came through the ranks there. I look out for their results, after Manchester United's results. I am sure it will always be that way."

Ferdinand is one of a number of players to learn their trade with the East Londoners and is pleased to see Joe Cole return to his old stamping ground, even if he hopes he does not impress in the replay.

"That will be part of West Ham's history forever now, the era we had there, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs," stated Ferdinand. "It is unfortunate for West Ham that those players did not stay there and get built upon. That is all history now. Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months. It would be good to see him do something good, but not on Wednesday. We want to get through this round."

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