Ferdinand slams Kitson's couldn't-care-less Cup attitude

Last updated at 14:10 06 January 2008

Rio Ferdinand has rubbished Dave Kitson's claim that the FA Cup no longer


The Reading striker has dismissed the world's oldest cup competition as a virtual irrelevance compared to Barclays Premier League survival.

Rio Ferdinand Man Utd

Given the vast amounts of cash now swirling about in the top flight, it was an understandable comment, even if Reading's battling draw at Tottenham suggests not all Kitson's team-mates are in agreement.

And Ferdinand, part of a Manchester United side beaten by Chelsea in last

season's final, felt Kitson's observations were astounding, not only flying in the face of a winning mentality he believes every professional should have but also raising the theory that form can be switched on and off at will.

"You hear some funny quotes coming out from some people saying they don't care about this competition," said Ferdinand.

"I don't know how you can turn your form on and off for each game.

"You want to win every day in training, let alone a match in front of 30,000


"Manchester United go into competitions to win them.

"It is just a natural winning mentality to want to go out and win every game

you play. Most players are like that. I have not got it inside me to to say I

want to win this game but not that one.

"If you do that, you won't do yourself justice, or the team, the club or the


Villa's squad could be forgiven for thinking the FA Cup is not a competition

for them.

Paired with United for the fourth time in six years, the midlanders have lost

the lot.

Indeed, they have now suffered an incredible 13 consecutive defeats against Sir

Alex Ferguson's men, who have triumphed on 11 straight visits to Villa Park,

including a couple of FA Cup semi-finals.

Little wonder Ferguson was hardly quaking when the third round draw sent his

team heading to the West Midlands, despite Villa's present status in the top


Nevertheless, the United manager admitted he felt the contest was heading

towards an Old Trafford replay until Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock with

his 19th goal of the campaign nine minutes from time.

In front of watching England manager Fabio Capello, Wayne Rooney lashed home a

late volley to seal victory for the visitors, with Ferguson claiming the

striker's introduction off the bench midway through the second half was the

pivotal factor.

It was a fact not lost on Capello either as he headed back to London, safe in

the knowledge he has at least one top class star to call on ahead of next

month's friendly with Switzerland.

"As we have seen so often, Wayne can be inspirational," said Ferdinand.

"I thought Ryan Giggs played a big part in the victory as well but Wayne can

definitely be that spark.

"He is a fantastic footballer. He knows what positions to take up on the pitch

and is always a threat to the opposition."

Ferguson will watch tomorrow's draw crossing his fingers for a home tie with

son Darren's side Peterborough, a clash which would offer the double whammy of

handing Posh some much needed cash, while providing United with a

comfortable-looking passage into the last 16.

Other than a re-match with former club West Ham, whose victory over the Red

Devils at Upton Park last week irritates Ferdinand even more because brother

Anton was among the scorers, the defender has no real preference. He just wants

United to go one better than last year.

"We have made a great start to the competition," he said.

"It was a hard game, as it always is against Villa despite our record against


"Maybe it was not the greatest match for the new England manager to watch but

it was intense and we got the goals at critical times.

"Now, we just want to keep going towards the final and eventually win the

whole thing."