Phelan - Right to rush Rio

Red Devils number two says decision to play defender was justified

Ferdinand: Back to full fitness

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Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan believes the decision to rush Rio Ferdinand back to fitness was justified against Tottenham.

The 30-year-old made his first appearance of the season after struggling with a calf injury and much to the delight of United completed the whole 90 minutes.

The champions produced their best performance of the season to end Spurs' 100 per cent start to the campaign by running out 3-1 winners at White Hart Lane.

The England international's inclusion came as somewhat of a surprise with many suggesting he would not be fully fit until the end of the month.

However Phelan reveals that the coaching staff have pushed the defender in training and now the former Leeds man looks likely to start in United's UEFA Champions League opener in Turkey against Besiktas on Tuesday.

"Rio worked hard during the last couple of weeks," Phelan said.

"He got the treatment he needed and was able to get out onto the training ground. We were pushing him a bit to play but he will be better for it."


With Wes Brown also back from injury manager Sir Alex Ferguson may opt for Jonny Evans to finally go under the knife to cure a persistent ankle problem after putting the operation off for the past 12 months.

The Northern Ireland international filled in for Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic with refreshing ease last term but he insists he still has a long way to go before he can consider himself a regular member of the first-team squad.

"You don't sit down after one game and think 'Oh I'm a Manchester United player now'," he told Inside United.

"There are plenty of players who played even 100 games for this club and aren't remembered.

"You want to make your mark on the history of the club. It is only then you can walk away and say 'I made it at United'."