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Rio Ferdinand reveals the tactical tweak behind Manchester United's return to form

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has found the perfect combination for his midfield system at Old Trafford.

The United manager has used a variety of players in varying formations to try and find the perfect balance in their engine room, and Ferdinand says Marouane Fellaini’s inclusion is essential.


Fellaini was named man-of-the-match in United’s 2-1 win against Watford on Saturday, partnering Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in a midfield three.

And Ferdinand said that trio is the way forward for United, particularly away from home.

“For a game like this, 100% and it’s been proven,” Ferdinand said, when asked whether the combination was the best available to Mourinho.

“Burnley away, they played very well. Fellaini was good in that game as well. Today he was man of the match for Manchester United.

“I think today the balance in that midfield looked very good against this type of opposition away from home.

“It remains to be seen if that type of combination that you’ll see against a top-six team in terms of Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

“This time I thought it was a very good choice from the manager.”

Romelu Lukaku was on target before Chris Smalling doubled the lead at Vicarage Road, before United suffered a nervy finish after Andre Gray pulled one back for Javi Gracia’s side.

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