Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is full of praise for teammate Chris Smalling.

Skippering the side on Nemanja Vidic's night off, Ferdinand played the full game in their Carling Cup win over Scunthorpe United.

Ferdinand had another good look at his competitor and colleague after being paired with him by assistant manager Mike Phelan.

"Chris is willing to learn, he wants to learn, he's hungry. You can see the desire in him," Ferdinand told

"He scored from a bit of a forward's run, across the front and getting a nick on the cross. He's doing well. I think he's taking everything in during training and getting his rewards in games."