Rio Ferdinand sends four-word motivational message to Manchester United players

Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United players to “graft on and be humble”, recalling what Sir Alex Ferguson used to demand of his players during his tenure at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand made the admission after Sunday’s 4-1 hammering against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Despite signs of encouragement in the first half, United were sad after the break and allowed City to kick the ball with ease.

Pep Guardiola’s team dominated the competition in the second half and did so without leaving first gear. It was another forgettable performance from United and one, in the second half, that lacked combat, dedication and passion.

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Understandably angry at what he saw from his former club in a game of such magnitude, Ferdinand, who spent 12 years at Old Trafford, recalled what Ferguson used to inject into his team, while remembering what gave the Scot the most Pride.

Ferdinand told Vibe with Five: “It’s not easy, but I’ll tell you what one of the main ingredients to fix it is: it’s hard work, that’s all. It’s not Wizard.

“We’re not sitting here trying to recreate the world. You have to graft and be humble.

“Go out there, roll up your sleeves, run and work hard. Sir Alex Ferguson always used to tell us, and I hate to take back what he said, but this guy is a genius.

“He told us: ‘I feel so proud when I walk into my manager’s office after a game and they [the opposition management team] tell me, “your team doesn’t work half hard”. Sir Alex would turn around and say ‘that’s what I like to hear'”.

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