Manchester United's English defender Rio Ferdinand has called for team mate Paul Scholes, who returned from retirement to help his old club get through an injury crisis, to continue his playing career. Ferdinand believes it is Scholes' superb form that seen the Red Devils storm back into title contention late in the season.
The 37 year old central midfielder, who has been instrumental in United's campaign so far, finished third (behind Arsenal's Robin van Persie and his team mate Wayne Rooney) in the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards list despite making only 18 appearances this season.
It was earlier reported that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson would talk to Scholes to extend his contract by another year. However, there has been no official confirmation about such a deal. Ferguson, instead, has relegated all contract-related business to after the season is over. Meanwhile, Ferdinand said he would try his best to persuade Scholes himself.
"It would be nice if he could play another season, but with Scholesy, you know it doesn't make a difference what anybody else says. He's his own man and he'll make his own decision," ESPN quoted Ferdinand as saying.
"There are a number of reasons why we've done well since the turn of the year and there's no doubt that one of them is Paul Scholes," the Telegraph quoted Ferdinand as saying.
"It's not just the quality of his football that impresses me but the way he has adapted physically. He was out of the game for months and yet he's come straight back into top-level football and he's hardly looked out of place. At this stage of his career, that's phenomenal," the Sun quoted Ferdinand as saying.
In terms of the league, United, who will next play local and title rivals Manchester City in a derby game, will be looking to do everything they can to stop Roberto Mancini's men, who are only three points behind them.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart, however, is confident of a positive derby and said his team mates and he had been waiting for this game for a long time.
"There are only a few games to go now. We've been putting this one (United game) off for a long time and people have been talking about it, but now it's the next game and the one we are excited about," said Hart, according to the Telegraph.
"Our title chances are certainly a lot better than they were. We are excited - we feel ready, we are firing goals in. We are looking forward to it. We've always been focused on finishing the season well and we have given ourselves a really good chance," he added.