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Barca hampered by archaic FIFA

Barcelona 16 hours ago
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Bayern MunichBayern Munich
VfL WolfsburgVfL Wolfsburg
6:30 PM GMT
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 10, 2008

We won't ease off ahead of Moscow, warns Rio

Rio Ferdinand has assured Manchester United supporters no-one at Old Trafford will be resting on their laurels no matter what glory comes their way in the next 10 days.

Victory at Wigan tomorrow, followed by a Champions League triumph over Chelsea in Moscow on May 21 would complete the second most successful campaign for United, eclipsed only by the historic Treble in 1999.

Yet the celebrations will be kept to a bare minimum.

For, as Ferdinand points out, once the trophies are locked away, attention will immediately turn towards the next season and more silverware.

'To win back-to-back titles this weekend would be great,' said Ferdinand.

'It is a very hard thing to do and we understand that. But as soon as it was achieved, we would be looking for a third. We would be looking to move on straight away.'

It is a quite remarkable attitude, yet it is one shared by Sir Alex Ferguson, through players such as Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes onto Ferdinand and is being picked up by the younger generation, such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

'It is hard to sit back when there are 76,000 people watching you every week,' he said.

'In any case, the manager does not buy players with that kind of slack imprint in their make-up. He buys players who are hungry and want to do well.

'It is bred into you to want to win every league and cup you are going for. They don't want players here who say they don't mind whether they win the Premier League this year or next.

'People like Giggs, Scholes and Neville who have been here and won countless trophies are the inspiration behind that. We look at them and say if they can do it, why can't we?'

With Neville effectively missing for the entire season and Giggs' recent contributions restricted to late cameos, which will see him equal Sir Bobby Charlton's club appearance record of 758 tomorrow, Ferdinand has had the honour of leading United into battle on a regular basis over the last few weeks.

The chances are Ferdinand will be captain once more at Wigan, accepting the responsibility that comes with being in such a pressurised situation.

Not that the England defender is losing too much sleep over that.

Given United will be champions if they win, while Chelsea could put 10 past Bolton and still finish second, he knows what position he would rather be in.

'It is nice to be in this position,' he smiled.

'I would rather be where we are than where they are, relying on us to slip up.

'But we didn't get where we are being in fear of any situation. We got here by attacking teams from the off so that is what we will be aiming to do.'

With Ferdinand's regular central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic back after sustaining concussion at Chelsea last month, United's defence looks solid even if the best Rooney can hope for is a place on the bench as he looks to ease his way back from a worrying hip complaint.

As up to 20,000 United fans are expected to make the short journey north, Ferdinand knows he is likely to find out what the situation is at Stamford Bridge whether he wishes to or not.

However, one thing is for certain, both before kick-off and during the match itself, not one drop of energy will be wasted thinking about the Champions League.

'I have not been thinking about what we could achieve in the next 10 days. You don't look that far ahead,' said Ferdinand.

'Looking ahead defeats the object really.

'We want to concentrate on the job in hand, which is to win the league and to achieve that we have to beat Wigan. Only when we have achieved that will we move on to the next game.'