TOUR NEWS & FEATURES

11/07/2013 11:10, Report by Nick Coppack in Bangkok
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Rio relishing Thai trip

"We've been back from our holidays for more than a week and it's been a really good start. It's been very, very hard but it's been enjoyable and I think we'll see the benefits of the work we've been putting in back in Manchester and the work we're about to do on tour.

"That will come in the shape of better fitness and a better understanding of the personalities of the players and the coaching staff, because it's a new era for all of us. Hopefully things will come together and we can get off to a good start once the season begins."

Having landed in Bangkok on Thursday morning at 08:09 local time, Ferdinand and his team-mates' pre-season preparations will continue when the squad convenes for its first tour training session in the afternoon. Thursday and Friday will contain a mixture of training and commercial commitments, before United take on a Singha All Star XI at the Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 14:00 BST).

"I love Thailand," Rio said. "It's a really nice country with great people who love Manchester United. It's crazy whenever we visit this part of the world. The reception we get in the Asian countries is something else entirely. I've never seen fanatics like them.

"They come to airports at mad times in the morning to greet us, they hang around our hotels... it's great and makes us feel really welcome."

More: Reds jet out to Bangkok | Today in Bangkok

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