- Premier League
Ferdinand: Man United love to be hated
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says his side relish being written off.
The veteran centre-back believes the Premier League leaders, who are closing in on their 20th league title, do not get the credit they deserve - and he says that is because many people enjoy seeing United fail.
"People don't want to see us win the league and we thrive off that. We love it," he told BBC Radio Manchester.
Despite Monday's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, United are still 12 points clear at the top of the table and only need another ten points to be mathematically certain of reclaiming the title.
But it irritates Ferdinand that while they have been champions 12 times in the Premier League era, others are immediately tipped to depose them.
"Every year that we've won the league, the following season we've never been favourites to win the league," he said to Red Wednesday.
"That's in most people's books or in the bookies' books, and that's always riled me. If you win the league, you should be the favourites next year because you've been the best team in the league - it's simple."
United travel to Stoke on Sunday and, with City facing Chelsea in the FA Cup semi- final the same day, have the chance to go 15 points clear again.