"This manager wants us to be a top team and wants to make sure we get to the latter stages of major tournaments," Ferdinand told Sky Sports News. "It is not enough just to get there and be happy to reach the quarter-finals.
At the present moment, just getting there would be a positive step.
While the likes of Turkey, Poland and Russia have the chance to appear on a major international stage, England's players remain at home.
For Ferdinand, who missed out on selection for Euro 2000 and was suspended in 2004, it is a recurring problem and not one he is finding it easy to get away from.
"Not qualifying with England is the one bad thing about my season," said the Premier League and Champions League winner.
"It is very disappointing. When you walk past the bookies or look in any magazine or paper you see adverts for the European Championships and we are not there.
"It is always in the back of your mind. A lot of people are saying it is not the same because we weren't there - but we weren't good enough. We have to turn round in the World Cup qualifiers."