Rio Ferdinand has spoken of his belief that the fixtures Manchester United face early on in the upcoming season represents the toughest start the club has experienced in his 11 years at Old Trafford, the Guardian
United face a trip to Swansea on the opening day, before meetings with rivals Chelsea and Liverpool. After the international break in September, a home encounter with newly-promoted Crystal Palace is followed by the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
A slow start to the season is likely to lead to pressure on new manager David Moyes, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired in May. On the other hand, he may see it as an opportunity to prove himself to those who doubt his credentials.
And Ferdinand, 34, who joined from Leeds United in 2002, said: “It focuses us, definitely. There’s no easing our way into the league this year. We’ve got to be ready to go from the off.
“We’ve got some big games in there but Swansea away is a really tough place to start. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for the start of the season because our first five games are probably the toughest that I’ve ever seen.”
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