Solid United earn Rio praise

Red Devils defender pleased with his side's professionalism

Rio Ferdinand: The defender has been encouraged by Manchester United's performances away from home

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Rio Ferdinand has credited professionalism as the reason for Manchester United's solid away form in the Premier League.

The Red Devils beat third-placed Tottenham 3-1 at White Hart Lane on Sunday to keep the pressure on rivals Manchester City at the top of the table.

It was their 10th away win of the season, having dropped just nine points on the road and keeping six clean sheets.

It is a far cry from their form of last season when, despite winning the title, Sir Alex Ferguson's side won only five of their 19 away fixtures.

It took until injury-time in the first half to break the deadlock at Spurs, but Wayne Rooney and two goals from Ashley Young provided the strikes to seal the victory.

And Ferdinand has praised his team-mates for their approach to away games this season.

Professional

He told MUTV: "Last year, I don't know what it was. It could have been complacency, expecting to win games whereas at the moment we're being very professional.

"Last year, I don't know what it was. It could have been complacency, expecting to win games whereas at the moment we're being very professional."

Rio Ferdinand

Quotes of the week

"We're hard to break down, hard to beat and we know that we've got players on the break who can beat anybody. [White Hart Lane] is a tough place to come. Spurs are a team with talented players.

"We've had that over the years; we've never had an easy win here. We knew we had to work hard and they made us work hard for the win."

United managed to hold a usually free-scoring Tottenham up until the final few minutes of the game, before Jermain Defoe grabbed a consolation.

Ferdinand believes that his side are restricting opponents' chances at the moment and has praised his defence and much-scrutinised goalkeeper David de Gea.

He added: "You've got to make sure you defend well if you're going to come away with anything. Jonny played really well again, and I thought the whole team defended well, to be honest.

"David de Gea's made some good strides in goal. He's learning, he wants to be a better keeper and wants to improve, and that's vital in a young player's make-up."