Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he went through the 'most difficult period' of his life when he was banned for eight months - but he feels he has nothing to prove despite his lengthy suspension from the game. The England international is expected to sign a GBP100,000 ($1.36 million) weekly contract to stay at Old Trafford for a fourth season and should be among the superstars who will be travel to Hong Kong for this month's summer extravaganza - the ING Manchester United Cup on July 23. The 26-year-old had completed his third season with United since his $397.1 million move from Leeds and the England star said he was looking forward to making his debut on Chinese soil in United's Asia tour. Ferdinand missed the first two months of last season because of an eight-month ban for failing to attend a drugs test and although he might harbour bitter feelings about it, he said the whole episode might have made him a stronger player. Speaking to the South China Morning Post from England, Ferdinand said: 'I don't think I have anything to prove regardless of what had happened the previous year. I don't think there is any more pressure on myself. I always put pressure on myself to perform well and play to the best of my ability anyway. That's what I do each year.' Talking about the ban he said: 'It was a difficult time. It was probably the most difficult time of my career. At the time I was very upset and angry. There were a lot of emotions going on during that time. I spoke to the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] and he said you should make sure you get a positive out of it by working hard. I've done that. 'I probably worked harder than at any point in my career, working on my fitness and I had a good chance to look at my game. While I wasn't playing, I tried to put all the good things and all the bad things in perspective and made sure that when I came back from suspension I was fit mentally and physically.' Ferdinand was disappointed with United's performance last season but said the Red Devils should come back stronger than ever in the coming one. 'We were disappointed with the cup final and disappointed with the season. We didn't play consistently well. The most consistent team in the league throughout the year is the team that wins the league and Chelsea were the team last season,' he said. 'This coming season we have to make sure that we improve. I mean there were signs that we were getting to a stage [last season] where we were performing well and clicked but it wasn't enough towards the end of the season and we ended up a lot of points behind Chelsea. This season, we want to make sure that we are right up there fighting right up there until the end of the season and make sure we finish at the top.' Ferdinand is expected to make his way to Hong Kong alongside such notables as Wayne Rooney, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo among others in the match against the Hong Kong national team.