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The Red Devils centre-back feels that a baptism of fire for new manager David Moyes could help the team snap immediately into focus as they begin the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes the club’s tough start to the Premier League season could prove to be "a blessing in disguise" for new manager David Moyes.

The former Everton boss will kick off his Red Devils career with games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City among their first five fixtures.

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"This could be a blessing in disguise for the new manager and for the squad," Ferdinand told the BBC.

"This will just really focus the guys and when we come back into pre-season we know we have to hit the ground running.

"We have a hard run of games but that is part and parcel of being a top footballer, you have to be ready at all times. If we finish that run of five or six games at the beginning of the season and we're in good shape, who knows what is possible."

Some fans expressed concern when Moyes, who did not win a trophy during his 11-year spell as Everton boss, was chosen to succeed the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson but Ferdinand is not worried about the new chief's record.

"You have to start somewhere," he remarked. "I never won anything before I came to Man United and, in my first season, we won the league. I'd like to think David Moyes would be able to do the same thing.

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"He's a football man, very passionate and just the right ingredient we needed at the club when Sir Alex Ferguson left.

"I'm sure the new manager will implement a little bit of his own style and culture into the squad. I think that will be a good thing and will freshen up the squad. Hopefully he will bring even more out of the players than before. "

Ferdinand also feels that Chelsea will be more of a direct contender for the Premier League title following the return of former manager Jose Mourinho.

"Jose Mourinho is a personality," the defender continued. "He has won a lot of things over the world and that makes Chelsea a threat again.

"We do not fear anyone. We are the champions and people will be more fearful of us. I'd say it's between us, Chelsea and Manchester City for the title."

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