Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand is happy with his personal performance this season after finally getting over a long-term injury problem.
The Reds defender made his highest number of Premier League appearances for four seasons to dispel any doubts over his fitness. Despite missing out on a Euro 2012 place, the England defender said the consistency of his performance was pleasing this year.
Speaking to the club's official website, Ferdinand said: "I'm just pleased to have played a number of games back-to-back. For the last couple of years, that's all I've been praying for."
The 33-year-old centre back has been hampered by injury for the past two seasons, making only 13 league appearances in 2009-10 and 19 in 2010-11. However, this campaign Ferdinand racked up 30 Premier League appearances and formed a solid partnership with Jonny Evans at the heart of the United defence.
Ferdinand's usual defensive partner, Nemaja Vidic, suffered a serious knee injury in December 2011 against Basel and missed the rest of the season - although United are hopeful that their captain will return in time for pre-season training. Long-term injuries to such key players meant Ferdinand's return to full fitness was crucial for United, and the Red Devils defender was happy with his form.
"To have a few games on the bounce and I'll be able to find my way back to playing well and playing consistently," said Ferdinand. "This season I thought I'd done that."
Ferdinand also sportingly paid tribute to fierce rivals Manchester City, who pinched the Premier League trophy away from United in the final few minutes of the season.
"City spent a lot of money but you have to give them credit," said the United defender. "Anyone who wins the league in this country are worthy champions because it's a tough league to win."