Rio: The records can wait
Rio Ferdinand says the Reds are not contemplating setting points records for the season, but are first and foremost focusing all efforts on completing the main aim of winning the title.
Sir Alex’s men hold a 15-point lead over closest rivals Manchester City who visit Old Trafford on Monday night. Victory over the Blues would put the Reds on the verge of title glory, but attentions in the media have already turned to the possibility of United beating Chelsea’s record haul of 95 points in the 2004/05 campaign.
Ferdinand, however, insists no-one is thinking about anything else other than beating City and edging a step closer to a 20th Championship crown.
“It is just about winning. Anything that comes after that is great, but winning it is the most important part,” he told PA Sport.
“If you win the league before the end of the season then you can set other targets. For me, personally, we need to get the trophy first, then you can think of all the other stuff that goes on around it.
“We are not any more hungry because of what happened last season,” he added. “That is just the way we are. The mentality of this club, driven by the manager, is that you have to win and you have to be challenging for every single competition you go in for. That has been the case since I have been here. That will never change.
“This club, the manager, the management team he has behind him, and the players and the fans demand that.”
Twenty-five wins from the first 30 games – a record in the top flight – has helped the Reds build a double-figures advantage over Roberto Mancini’s side, and United are also on an impressive defensive run of six consecutive clean sheets.
“We feel more solid as a team,” opines Ferdinand. “At the beginning of the season we were playing open, expansive football, which I am sure was good for the fans to watch but, being a defender, my first instinct is to defend and keep clean sheets. We weren’t able to do that.
“We addressed it. That is the most pleasing point. Now we are benefitting from it.”