Euro 2012

Ferdinand 'champing at the bit' for Manchester United return

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says he cannot wait for the new Premier League season to get underway.

The Red Devils saw rivals Manchester City deny them their 20th league title in the dying seconds of the last campaign, thanks to Sergio Aguero's last-gasp winner against QPR.

And the 33-year-old, who is currently with the United squad in South Africa for pre-season, has expressed his eagerness to return, especially after missing out on England’s Euro 2012 campaign.

He told Manchester United’s Red Voices podcast: “The way the season ended the quicker and sooner we can get back into it the better.

“It's the longest holiday I've had, it's been five or six weeks, and I'm 100 per cent ready to put everything back into football now.

“But when you can see the fixtures and start planning the season and working things out in your head you start champing at the bit to start training because the games come thick and fast.”

The former West Ham centre-back also revealed that his pre-season is a lot less strenuous than it has been in previous years.

“Scientifically it has got easier so they don't try to kill you on the first day," he said.

“You used to come limping in the first week because you had muscles you never knew you had aching but now it is more relaxed and we are eased into it - it is better for me.”

However, Ferdinand admits that he has taken it upon himself to put in extra work to ensure he can still match the squad's younger players.

He said: “I have always done something [before pre-season] and I've always done three or four sessions but this time I've done about 10 different runs by myself.

“I am getting to the latter stages of my career so I need to come back as fit as I can to keep up with the younger guys.”

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