‘This should be part of setting a new culture at the club’: Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United can kickstart a ‘sustained period of winning’ with Europa League success
- Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United must use Europa League as springboard
- Ferdinand urged the club to kick-start a new era of glory by winning the trophy
- United have travelled to Cologne and play Copenhagen in the quarter-finals
- Ferdinand believes United must regularly challenge for silverware, starting now
Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United to use the Europa League to trigger a ‘sustained period of winning’.
The United legend is keen to see his former club begin to regularly challenge for silverware and views the Europa League as a perfect springboard for that, even though they failed to kick on to greater heights after winning the competition in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.
The Old Trafford giants face Copenhagen on Monday night for a spot in the semi-finals during the newly introduced mini-tournament format.
Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United should use the Europa League as a catalyst for glory
United have been training in Cologne for the mini-tournament that will crown a champion
United have eased to the final eight teams of the showpiece in style, and are expected to field a strong team against their Danish opponents as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to clinch his first trophy at the helm.
Ferdinand is equally as expectant that the club can win their second Europa League title in three years.
He told BT Sport’s Club 2020: ‘This could be a part of setting a new culture at the football club. I think the club has probably been missing that for the last seven or eight years.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to go out all to secure his first trophy as United manager
‘It is a sustained period of winning you are looking for, it is not that sporadic win a trophy here and there but about challenging for the league on a yearly basis and getting your foot in finals every year.
‘If they can create that culture now and with the young players they have got coming in now, and with the way Ole is trying to mould this team, we will be in for a good future but again we have got to execute.’
United are staring down the barrel of a 13-day lockdown in Cologne should they reach the final, and are also gearing up for their remaining European games at fourth division Fortuna Koln’s training ground.
United won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017 and are targeting the trophy again
But Darren Fletcher, another of the club’s esteemed ex-players, believes that the bizarre format is an ‘exciting’ prospect for a United team desperate to win.
‘It is almost reminiscent of an international tournament on a smaller scale and a bit of pre-season for United,’ he said.
‘But they don’t have the pressure of qualifying for the Champions League now so they can go out with this young team and win a trophy.’
The winners of United’s quarter-final tie will face either Wolves or Sevilla in the final four on Sunday.