Ferdinand explains Man Utd player fears ahead of Newcastle cup final

Erik ten Hag previews Carabao Cup final

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Rio Ferdinand thinks Manchester United players will be ‘stressing over’ the magnitude of their Carabao Cup final showdown with Newcastle. The Red Devils go into the match at Wembley looking to win a first trophy since 2017. And, if they do, it could pave the way for a historic quadruple.

United have been a team transformed this season, with Erik ten Hag working wonders ever since his appointment back in the summer.

And the Red Devils now have a chance to secure a first trophy of the Dutchman’s reign, with the Carabao Cup final poised to take place.

Ferdinand thinks it could be United’s year, especially with Newcastle being forced to play without suspended goalkeeper Nick Pope.

And the Red Devils icon believes players will be ‘stressing over’ what a potential trophy win can mean for the future.

“[Regular goalkeeper Nick] Pope [is] not playing, I think there’s a lot of things that are going in our favour,” he told club media.

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“What I’d be stressing [over] if I was in the dressing room right now would be, what this could be.

“This could catapult us confidence-wise into a place we’ve not been in a very long time.

“And what that would mean for the end of the season, the run in, getting into the Champions League, could we challenge for the title?”

He added: “I think for those guys it’s going to be massive.

“Knowing how to win in a Man United shirt. You can win where you want; Casemiro, [Raphael] Varane have won major trophies multiple times, but they haven’t felt winning in this stadium and at Manchester United, in a red shirt.

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“So, they’ll be pining for that. And all of the other young guys that have been in the squad that haven’t won yet.

“Like me when I came here, the first thing I was thinking was I needed to win to be able to look people in the eye.

“I’m sure there will be a few of them like that, do you know what I mean?

“Walking around this stadium, getting the hump. I’m sure a lot of these guys will have the hump that the fans always talk about the past.

“Different eras, before. They want to be spoken about now. They’ve got egos, they’ve got pride and they’ll make it right [by winning].”

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Ferdinand believes Marcus Rashford is United’s talisman ahead of the showdown.

But he’s fired a warning about the pressure that brings, saying: “It’ll be interesting to see because in the times gone by before he wasn’t the guy everyone looked to, to win the game for us.

“It was other people more experienced, whereas now he’s much more experienced and in an unbelievable vein of form, so the pressure is going to be on him to score.

“But he looks like at the moment he loves that pressure, he revels in that, and hopefully he steps up again.

“I think there’s not a game in recent weeks, the last few months, that he doesn’t go into being our number one reason to have a chance of winning the game.”

Casemiro, though, is who Ferdinand thinks will be vital for United on the day.

“He’s been our most important player,” continued the former defender.

“I think him and Marcus Rashford for different reasons. He seems to be the glue in this team.

“I would put a lot of the positives and the form and the consistency in this team down to his presence in the team.

“Not solely, but he has a huge impact on this team.”

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