FOOTBALL NEWS

02/01/2013 15:15, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Rio: Robin's at home here

Team spirit has been one of the major factors behind Robin van Persie's hugely impressive debut season to date, according to Rio Ferdinand.

Van Persie has excelled since joining the Reds from Arsenal in the summer and has already netted 19 goals and created numerous others.

The Dutchman himself said after his brace in the 4-0 win at Wigan on New Year's Day that he is part of a "special team” and remarked on how "everybody wants to help each other."

Ferdinand echoed those sentiments, insisting that the bond amongst the squad is second to none.

"It is easy for people to settle in here," he told PA Sport. "We have a great bunch of players and a great squad. There is a fantastic ambience in the squad. It is a great place for players to come to if you are willing to come in, work hard and be a member of the team.

"Robin is an important player. The manager saw something in him and made it his mission to buy him this summer. At the moment, thankfully, he is doing what he came here to do.

"No matter how you win the league, it is always mainly down to a group of players rather than one individual, but currently he is scoring the goals.

"He is not only scoring though, he holds the ball up well and brings others into play. He does a fantastic job. But we are not at the end of the season yet. No medals have been handed out. We don't want to jump about too much. Up to now he has done fantastically well, but the job is still there to be done."

United's title challenge has certainly been aided by a positive run of results over the festive period which has seen the Reds stretch the lead over Manchester City to seven points.

"We have had a good period, but we have to continue that in the New Year," added Ferdinand. "It was important for us to get the points on the board - this is always an important part of the year because the games come so thick and fast. You

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