Ferdinand feeling confident

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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes bitter rivals Manchester City did the club a massive favour by condemning them to a humiliating defeat at Old Trafford back in October.

The 33-year-old is adamant that the crushing 6-1 loss was a major turning point in United's season, and attributes the players' fine run of form over the past couple of months as a reaction to that result.

After winning a record-breaking 19th domestic title last season, Ferdinand is confident that the experience and winning mentality will stand his teammates in good stead this year, and feels the fact United traditionally grow stronger during the second half of a campaign can only benefit them in the title race this year.

"I don't like to say we've got this and you haven't," Ferdinand told The Sun. "It's all about doing it. Many players in our squad have done things but this is the most important one.

"It's not about remembering the past, it's about trying to create more history and be a part of the history of this club."

The Red Devils play City once again in the FA Cup on Sunday, and Ferdinand is hoping that the players will have learnt their lesson from the last meeting and defend more resiliently.

"I'll be honest - and it pains me to say it - but it was probably one of the best things that happened to us," he added. "We were playing a very open kind of football.

"It made us sit back and think we've got to tighten up all over the pitch. If we do that, we have the players to exploit any other team when we go forward."

The reigning Barclays Premier League champions will be looking to draw level on points with City at the top of the table when they travel to the Sports Direct Arena to face Newcastle this evening.

"We've got a crazy amount of injuries and illnesses, yet we're still managing to get the results and long may that continue," concluded Ferdinand.

"The most important thing is the way the squad is playing now. The manager has said at the beginning of the season it's not about 11 men.

"Since we went out of the Champions League we've shown a great resolve in our squad."

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