Ferdinand: Qatar trip not a holiday for Manchester United players

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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has given fans the lowdown on his side’s mid-season trip to Qatar.

The 34-year-old centre-back was in fine form at the weekend for the Red Devils against Tottenham Hotspur, but was unable to prevent his side from dropping points as Clint Dempsey’s injury-time strike cancelled out Robin Van Persie’s opener.

It was a disappointing end for the visitors after such a promising start at White Hart Lane, but Ferdinand – speaking from the Middle East – admitted it was a fair point after a second-half onslaught from Spurs.

“Speaking to you from Qatar, where we’re on a mid-season break. Training has been hard the last day or two – great weather,” he told social media site Bubbly.

“This is the first time I’ve spoken to you since we played against Spurs, a tough game, 1-1. They did to us what we’ve done to teams over the last few years and hit us with a last minute equaliser. 

“Disappointing, but I think we’re kind of satisfied with a point at the end, looking back on the whole of the game. Disappointed we didn’t see the game out, but that’s how football goes and you’ve got to take it on the chin sometimes.”

In a later post on the same site, Ferdinand also revealed that training has been hard in Qatar, and that the trip is anything put a holiday during January.

And, whilst the players have enjoyed two-touch football and cricket on the beach, the training sessions have been long, with work in the gym thrown in for good measure.

“Wow. Forgot to even mention. Two-touch on the beach was beautiful followed by a game of cricket. Unbelievable to be honest with you at this time of year, normally when it’s snowing in the UK, well it is now, and we’re here in Qatar. After training finished – a hard session we done – we had a little bit of spare time of the beach with the boys and it was funny,” he added.

“That was in-between a big bit of gym in the hotel, where the lads were put through there paces in the afternoon. Anyone who thinks this is a holiday is very, very wrong. This is hard work with a little bit of down-time in between, so don’t get it twisted."

The Manchester United players will return at some point later in the week, with an FA Cup fourth round clash against Fulham next on the agenda.

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