Rio Ferdinand relishes taking on former side West Ham

Rio Ferdinand is looking forward to facing his former side when West Ham travel to face Manchester United in the FA Cup third-round replay at Old Trafford.

The centre-back was an unused substitute when the Red Devils grabbed a dramatic equaliser to draw 2-2 at Upton Park but is keen to face the Hammers this time around – and believes that there are a number of similarities between the two teams.

“West Ham is special for me,” he told the Red Devils’ official website. “I look at West Ham as being a similar club to Manchester United in terms of their history and the way they keep all their people for so many years.

“Here, you see Cath on reception who has been here 30-odd years. It is similar at West Ham with Jimmy Frith and people like that.

“It is a club that is close to my heart because I came through the ranks there. I look out for their results, after Manchester United’s results. I am sure it will always be that way.”

The 34-year-old played alongside a number of England stars during his spell at West Ham, including Frank Lampard and Joe Cole – the latter of whom recently rejoined the London club.

And, while Ferdinand is keen for the ex-Liverpool midfielder to shine, he is hoping that the his old colleague’s best performances start after their Wednesday match-up.

“That will be part of West Ham’s history forever now, the era we had there, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs,” he reminisced.

“It is unfortunate for West Ham that those players did not stay there and get built upon. That is all history now. Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months.

“It would be good to see him do something good but not on Wednesday. We want to get through this round.”

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