Rio Ferdinand wary of repeat Manchester United title race collapse

The centre-back believes in the squad’s quality but is urging focus after losing an eight-point lead to rivals Manchester City last term

Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has urged his team-mates to stay focused despite a 15-point lead over Manchester City after “a lot of people got ahead of themselves” last season.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side travel to West Ham on Wednesday knowing they need just seven more points to win a record-breaking 20th league title.

United lost an eight-point lead last term as City won a first title in 44 years via goal difference in the dying seconds of the season – and Ferdinand is wary of a similar collapse this term.

“We’ve got to make sure we finish the season correctly and get this title back,” Ferdinand told the Daily Mail.

“We’re not far off it but it’s not over until it’s over. We have to make sure we remain focused and apply ourselves in the right way.

“I’m not really surprised by the lead if I’m honest. When I look around the changing room I expect us to be winning games nine times out of 10.

“I believe in the squad, believe we can win games in various ways,  winning ugly, playing fluent football, keeping a clean sheet.

“It would be great to win it again but until we do I don’t want to talk much about it. Last season a lot of people got ahead of themselves.”

Ferdinand’s current deal is set to expire at the end of the season, but he is not concerned over his future at Old Trafford and says he is happy just playing “in the big games.”

However, the 34-year-old says he has no intention of following Ryan Giggs’ lead – who recently penned a new contract that takes him past his 40th birthday.

He added: “I’m just enjoying my football, playing in the big games, being a regular in the team. It enables you to hit a bit of form. I hope I can carry on.

“When you get to my stage you take it year by year. I’m working out my routine. But no-one else will be able to do what Giggs has done. He’s got a certain body type, works on it and gets the best out of it.”

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