Football: Rio Ferdinand urges United to hit ground running

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Rio Ferdinand said on Thursday that Manchester United must "hit the ground running" after the Premier League champions were handed a tough start to their first season under new manager David Moyes.

The veteran defender, 34, was speaking during a promotional trip to Singapore after United were handed games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in the opening weeks of the season.

"It's a lively start," said Ferdinand. "Normally you get eased into the season... and you have a few games to find your feet (but) we've got to hit the ground running."

Ferdinand said players would be hoping to make a good impression on Moyes, who arrived from Everton to take over after Alex Ferguson's trophy-laden tenure of more than 26 years.

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