Rio ready to take responsibility
After not suffering a single defeat on his first six Premier League trips to Liverpool as a United player, Ferdinand travels across to Merseyside on Saturday on the back of three successive reverses. Even following Fernando Torres' departure, the Reds still found a way to swamp their fierce north-west rivals last term, Dirk Kuyt bagging a hat-trick in a 3-1 win that featured an outstanding display from Luis Suarez. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has noted United were outfought on those occasions, and Ferdinand accepts the response to going a goal behind was not one of defiance, as would be expected from Red Devils teams. However, the 32-year-old is more of the opinion that United's defending has become too fragmented. And now they need to return to the old attitude. "Over the past few years, we have given away some soft goals," he said. "A lot of the victories were have achieved were based around defending well as a team, playing collectively and not as individuals. "You can't argue with the results. I am not making excuses. We lost the games. They were the better team on the day. "But if we go back to what we are good at this weekend, I am confident we can get a positive result." Like Ferguson, Ferdinand has noted an improvement in Liverpool since the arrival of Kenny Dalglish as manager in January. However, that does not extend to any opinion about where the Merseyside giants will finish, other than "below us". But Ferdinand does accept the game represents the biggest challenge of United's season thus far. "We have played a couple of the teams who are normally around us in the league at home, this is away," he said. "Regardless of what part of the season it is, going to Anfield is always huge for us. "They are our local rivals. It is a game we look forward to and one I am sure the fans are really excited about." Ferguson is mulling over whether to recall skipper Nemanja Vidic. Yet that would come at the expense of Jonny Evans, one of the youngsters who have impressed so far this term. Normally, a manager would be inclined to be cautious in such circumstances. But Ferdinand does not feel that is absolutely necessary in these circumstances, even though he may be one of the men losing out. "It is just another part of their learning curve," he said. "It is great for these young guys to be able to go to Anfield with Manchester United, to feel the environment and atmosphere that is put in front of you. "To become top players you have to be able to adapt and apply yourself in different circumstances. "Anfield is a hostile place, but there is no better place to win at as a Manchester United player." "Our manager is the best in the business at mixing youth and experience. If he feels we need youth and experience mixed in great. Experience is valuable, so is youth. The mixture will be vital."