Ferdinand backing Manchester United quality

18 December 2010 04:00

Others may have plenty, but Rio Ferdinand insists no-one within the confines of Manchester United has any doubt over their Barclays Premier League title credentials.

Even Monday's Old Trafford victory over Arsenal, that sent the Red Devils two points clear at the top with a game in hand, has not silenced some doubters who are adamant United are not as good as in years gone by.

"I don't understand it but that is the way it is," said Ferdinand. "In the last four seasons we won the title three times. But on each of those occasions we didn't start the following season as favourites. People either don't think we are as good as we are, or don't want us to be."

He added: "But within the walls of Manchester United, we know. And we also know what we are capable of. We have not had the greatest season yet in terms of consistency but that is what we are aiming for."

In one sense, consistency is exactly what United have had given their enduring ability to avoid defeat. Yet it is those disappointing draws at Fulham and Everton, plus the loss of a two-goal lead to West Brom, that seem to linger longest in the memory.

Since all those setbacks, though, United have achieved far more notable results - Park Ji-sung's stoppage-time rescue mission against Wolves, an unlikely comeback at Aston Villa when - by Sir Alex Ferguson's own admission - United should have been buried, that seven-goal annihilation of Blackburn and finally Monday's crucial triumph.

None of United's rivals have been able to put together such a consistent run of positive results, particulalry Chelsea who a solitary win in their last seven Premier League outings.

Ferdinand is not convinced the recent absence of Frank Lampard can entirely account for Chelsea's misfortune, even if he rates his old West Ham team-mate as their best player

"Frank has been a big loss for them," said Ferdinand. "I would say Frank is their best player. He gets 20 goals a season from midfield, which is huge.

"Any team that loses that is bound to be affected. But Chelsea would say themselves they are not a one-man team. Frank missed a few games earlier in the season but no-one was saying anything then because they were winning games."

Source: PA