Ferdinand focused for Far East
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rio Ferdinand is looking forward to United's pre-season tour of Asia.
Rio Ferdinand believes a successful pre-season tour of the Far East will see Manchester United start the Premier League on form.
United arrived in Japan on Monday morning to kick off a rigorous four-match tour and Ferdinand believes the intense humidity of playing conditions in Asia will provide excellent conditioning as the champions look to defend their Premier League crown.
"The weather sometimes makes it difficult on these trips but it will stand us in good stead for when we come back and start the season," said Ferdinand.
"It is the pre-season programme that carries you through the whole campaign, especially the demanding periods like Christmas.
"Fingers crossed we get it right, we have every confidence in the staff at the club.
"They have never got it wrong before so I am sure they won't this year."
United's tour will take in Seoul, Macau and Guangzhou and kicks off against Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday where summer signings Owen Hargreaves and Nani are expected to feature.
Alan Smith has also made the trip, despite increasing rumours that he is heading for the Old Trafford exit, and defender Jonny Evans, who impressed while on loan at Sunderland last season, is expected to be given an opportunity.
Gary Neville and Ben Foster have all remained in England due to injury, while Gerard Pique, who did not finish his season on loan with Real Zaragoza until the end of June, has also been excused.
Gabriel Heinze, who is being increasingly linked with a move away from United, will miss the trip because he only finished Copa America duty with Argentina on Sunday.
Brazilian midfielder Anderson and Chinese forward Dong Fangzhou are also missing because they have been in Copa America and Asian Cup action respectively.