Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United's difficult start to their Premier League title defence could be a "blessing in disguise" for new manager David Moyes.
Speaking to MUTV on Wednesday, former United midfielder Quinton Fortune wondered whether someone at the Premier League had a grievance against Moyes after it was revealed the Red Devils would host Chelsea, then visit both Liverpool and Manchester City in their opening five fixtures.
Ferdinand, the winner of his sixth Premier League title last summer, is not so sure and feels the tough start could actually work to Moyes' advantage. "This will just really focus the guys and when we come back into pre-season we know we have to hit the ground running," the long-serving United defender told the BBC.
"This could be a blessing in disguise for the new manager and for the squad."
After years of avoiding the more extreme reactions bad results tend to bring due to the secure nature of Sir Alex Ferguson's status, all manner of pressure will be piled on Moyes should those first few results go against him.
Not that Ferdinand is considering such a scenario.
"We don't think about the reaction if we start badly," he said.
"We expect the results to go our way and to do well.
"We have a hard run of games but that is part and parcel of being a top footballer, you have to be ready at all times.
"If we finish that run of five or six games at the beginning of the season and we're in good shape, who knows what is possible?"