Ferdinand drinks down a familiar medicine
RIO Ferdinand admits Manchester United got a taste of their own medicine at Tottenham yesterday, but the defender insists the team should not be disheartened at coming away from White Hart Lane with a point.
United looked set to re-establish a seven-point lead over bitter rivals Manchester City after Robin van Persie put them on course for victory, but Clint Dempsey snatched a point for Spurs with a 93rd-minute equaliser.
United are the ones who usually revel in pulling off a result with a late goal - they have snatched last-gasp winners in no fewer than four matches this season and they also stole a draw at West Ham with an injury-time equaliser from Van Persie in the FA Cup.
The fact that United have scored so many late goals during Sir Alex Ferguson's 27-year spell in charge at Old Trafford has partly led to the coining of the term 'Fergie time', and for that reason, Ferdinand was philosophical about his team being denied victory in such a dramatic fashion yesterday.
"It is disappointing," Ferdinand said. "But as soon as you get off the pitch and into the changing room you think back to how many times we have done that to other teams over the years and you have to accept it and take it on the chin."
Most critics admit this United team does not rank up there with the other sides who have helped Ferguson win his 12 titles, yet the Red Devils are odds-on favourites to top the Barclays Premier League come May.
The fixture list makes for comfortable reading for any United fan. Other than a potentially tricky home game against Everton, the club have a run of winnable fixtures against the likes of Southampton, Fulham, West Ham and Reading coming up.
City, on the other hand, face games against Chelsea and Liverpool next month, but Ferdinand is not getting carried away by the prospect of another Barclays Premier League title.
"It is a good position to be in but there are no medals given out yet so you have to keep chalking off the games and get as many three points in the bag as you can," the United defender told MUTV.
"You have to get the difficult games out of the way and Tottenham is a difficult place to come. A lot of teams will drop points here, so
I don't think we can be too down about coming away from White Hart Lane with a point.
"They are a confident team. Under the new management they are doing well."
The key to Ferguson's success this season has been his team's ability to grind out victories over his rivals. The Scot has masterminded wins over City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool (twice) this term, and he is pleased, therefore, with his team's progress.
"We have been to all the top teams' grounds so far - we just have Arsenal left - and we think we can be pleased with the outcome of them all," the 71-year-old said.
"We have got a healthy points total from them and it's another game out of the road."
United escaped the snow gripping the country today by flying out to Qatar for a warm weather training camp ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie against Fulham.
Ferguson, meanwhile, is waiting to hear if he will be charged by the Football Association for his criticism of linesman Simon Beck.
Ferguson described the official's performance as "shocking" following his failure to flag for a United penalty when Wayne Rooney went down in the box under pressure from Steven Caulker.
Ferguson said United had "history" with Beck - a reference to the linesman's decision to allow Didier Drogba's goal at Old Trafford to stand in 2010 even though the then Chelsea striker was offside.