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06 December 2023

Ferdinand believes United have title quality

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, second from left, remonstrates with match referee Mike Dean, second from right, after Rafael, left, is shown a second yellow card during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at the White Hart Lane stadium, London, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. (AP)


Rio Ferdinand insists Manchester United do not need to add to their squad this month as the unbeaten leaders prepare to take on Birmingham at Old Trafford.

United go into the weekend level on points with Manchester City, but Sir Alex Ferguson's side have two games in hand on their neighbours.

Many pundits have criticised United this season even though they are top of the table and still unbeaten in the Premier League.

Ferguson has refused to rule out further transfer activity this month, admitting he is interested in adding one more player to his squad.

But defender Ferdinand believes United already have the best options in the league.

Ferdinand told Sport Magazine: "I look around the changing room and I'm happy with the players we've got. I'm sure the manager is too.

"If he sees fit to add to it, then I stand by whatever decision he makes -- but I don't see a problem with the depth of our squad. When everyone's fit, we've got the best squad in the league.

"In our midfield we've got (Michael) Carrick, (Darren) Fletcher, (Paul) Scholes, Anderson, (Ryan) Giggs, Park Ji-Sung, Nani, (Antonio) Valencia, (Owen) Hargreaves.

"That's an abundance of talent there, and people say: 'You haven't got depth in the squad.' Try and pick a foursome out of that -- it's difficult."

With United going for a record 19th league title, Ferdinand also believes that United will show their true class when it really counts despite a lack of memorable performances this season.

"We're good enough, we've got a good enough team and we're up there," he said.

"Going into the last few games of the season I see us still being there and then it's down to who's got the ability to close it off and I see us being that team."

Ferguson has only Valencia and Hargreaves on the sidelines with injury, while Park is still away on international duty with South Korea as United look to extend an impressive home run of 10 wins and a draw from their 11 league games at Old Trafford.

Birmingham have been dealt a blow on the eve of the trip to Old Trafford after key defender Scott Dann was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Dann has undergone surgery on a hamstring injury suffered in last week's League Cup semi-final first leg at West Ham and manager Alex McLeish has confirmed he will not play again this term.

"Scott had a successful operation the other day but he will be out for the rest of the season. You don't want to see your back four being disrupted too much," McLeish said.

"Scott has been an excellent performer, very consistent, and he is going to get even better, but I'm philosophical about these things. You've just got to get on with it."

Birmingham will at least be boosted by the return of fit-again pair Cameron Jerome and Sebastian Larsson after they missed last weekend's draw with derby rivals Aston Villa.

McLeish says there have been no further developments on the future of contract rebel Larsson, who is now reportedly interesting Blackburn having seen a move to Newcastle fall through.

The Sweden international has his work cut out regaining his place in the team after loan signing David Bentley impressed on his debut last weekend.

"Hopefully in the next few games there will be more quality and more end product from me," said Bentley.

"There's nothing better than running out there and playing, it's a real buzz. I'm delighted I've got this chance and, as I said, with match fitness you get a lot more quality in the critical areas."