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Ferdinand: No Treble talk

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says the squad is only concentrating on one competition at a time and will not become preoccupied with the prospect of winning the Treble.

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United performed the unique act of winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 1999 and are well placed to repeat that feat in 2011.

Ferdinand acknowledges that looking too far ahead could cost them dear, starting with Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Chelsea. The Red Devils hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

With the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City coming up on Sunday and crucial Premier League games on the horizon it could be easy for the players to become distracted. But Ferdinand insists that will not happen.

"The treble is not a motivation,'' he said. "Our motivation is each competition. If that amounts to winning the Double, a single trophy each year or the Treble so be it.

"I don't think the players who won the Treble were saying 'this is it, we want to win the treble'.

"It is about making sure this club wins a trophy every year. If you win one and you see another one, you want to try and win that.''

Rio is backing Wayne Rooney to put Chelsea to the sword.

Ferdinand told the Daily Mirror: "Wayne will be pumped up for this - he's a professional footballer who always wants to do well. It's a big European tie under the lights at Old Trafford - a really special occasion.

"Wayne thrives on these big occasions, as we've seen in the past, so he'll be up for it."

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson believes Antonio Valencia will prove to be a crucial figure in the run-in as he returns to full fitness after a long injury lay-off.

"We expected Antonio to come back like this,'' said Ferguson. "He is an outstanding footballer, who is very capable of being a threat. His understanding of the game is terrific. He has a great tactical brain. The boy has everything, balance, power and speed.

"When we got nearer the time, we couldn't get him back quickly enough. We arranged closed-doors games to get his tempo and rhythm back. Nani has had a fantastic season. To have the two of them available is a tremendous boost at this time of year.''


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