Rio Ferdinand reveals how Erik ten Hag & Casemiro have changed Man Utd

Former Manchester United defender and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand has labelled Casemiro as one of Erik ten Hag's "lieutenants" ahead of Saturday's Manchester derby with local rivals City, and has praised the impact Brazilian and his manager have had on United since their arrival.

United can go to within a point of the reigning champions in the Premier League with a win at Old Trafford this weekend - something inconceivable after United were thumped by Brentford in the second match round of the season.

City are coming into the game off the back of a defeat to Southampton in the Carabao Cup - surrendering the tag of competition favourites to United in the process - and are five points behind league leaders Arsenal themselves. A positive result is of utmost importance for both sides.

Speaking exclusively to 90min ahead of the game, Ferdinand said that even with United's strong recent form and City's patchy record since the World Cup ended, United are growing in confidence but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll be enough to beat who most still see as the best team in the country.

"I don't think there's always a perfect time to be playing City because they're that good," said Ferdinand. "I just think that you look at Manchester United and you look at from their standpoint, they're playing with a confidence that we haven't seen for a long time. And they're playing with individuals that are confident.

"They're playing like a team that understand what the manager wants now, which has taken time and there's a culture behind all of that, which is the backdrop to everything that now is supporting what the manager has put in place."

Marcus Rashford's upturn in form since Ten Hag's arrival has been grabbing the headlines of late, but the acquisition of Casemiro - who was on the bench for the other league derby this season, won 6-3 by City, incidentally - has been a major reason for United's improvement in Ferdinand's eyes.

On this edition of TPL, Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette discuss Man Utd's chances in the Manchester derby, and hear from Rio Ferdinand on Wout Weghorst and his ideal centre forward signing for MUFC.

"I think he's been a huge factor," he said. "I think the money they paid for him and the way they got him, he's justified it up to this point in his performances. He epitomises, I think, what the manager is trying to implement. There's a certain standard every day, day to day at a football club.

"And then obviously during the 90 minutes, it plays out. And in that culture, you need lieutenants to be able to do that - and I think that Casemiro has come in and he's one of them. He's a winner and has proven he can go the distance in another league, and in the Champions League as well, numerous times.

"And so those elements there, you put that in the mix and it bodes well if the culture is right and being set right from the top. And it looks like at the moment, Erik ten Hag is doing it.

"He's not just changing football players the way they think, he's actually changing human beings and men, their mindsets, and so to do that, it takes time. And there are messages that are consistent and reinforced on a daily basis. I think he's on the right road to doing that - it's nowhere near complete yet, but he's on the right road."

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Source : 90min