"We're in a fantastic position. We're looking down and saying to other teams, 'Come and catch us'. David Moyes couldn't be walking into a healthier situation."

- Rio Ferdinand

16/05/2013 09:39, Report by Adam Marshall
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Rio: Watch us go

Rio Ferdinand has thrown down the gauntlet to Manchester United's rivals, insisting the Reds are ready to launch a staunch title defence under new manager David Moyes.

The centre-back says Sir Alex Ferguson has given his successor every chance of maintaining the club's position at the head of the pack.

"I think this is the way the manager, in his dreams, would have liked to leave the club - in a fit state for someone else to come in and take the reins," said Ferdinand, in an exclusive interview with MUTV.

"We're not going to be looking up to other teams, we're looking down and saying: 'Come and catch us'. We're in a fantastic position. Obviously, Sir Alex's shoes are massive shoes to fill but David Moyes couldn't be walking into a healthier situation. The young players here are hungry and want to win stuff. The senior players have won a lot of things but have still got the desire and the work ethic that the manager has instilled into us. I think that's vital for the future of the football club."

As for his own future, Ferdinand feels he still has plenty to offer at Old Trafford, having been allowed by Sir Alex to manage his own fitness routine in a bid to keep niggling injuries at bay.

"Sir Alex allows you, with other members of staff like the sports science department and physios, to try and work out the way to manage yourself," said the 34-year-old, who announced his retirement from international football yesterday.

"I think that's part of his great management. Some people might try and dictate and say, 'do it this way.' But he gives you that responsibility to work it out for yourself and get to the point where you know what you are doing. He let me do that and it released any kind of pressure. Some managers do put [pressure] on players to be fit all the time. I've been in that situation where I think I need to be fit, I really need to be fit and you almost become a hindrance to the team. It's great for me to get that comfort from the manager. I

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