The England international defender, who is set to return to the Red Devils' side for Wednesday's Premier League trip to Newcastle, has been pleased with the progress of the side in recent months - Saturday's shock 3-2 defeat to Blackburn and the Champions League exit aside.
And, Ferdinand has put their form down to the wake-up call rivals City gave them when hitting them for six at Old Trafford over two months ago.
He said: "I'll be honest - and it pains me to say it - but it was probably one of the best things that happened to us.
"We were playing a very open kind of football. It made us sit back and think we've got to tighten up all over the pitch. If we do that, we have the players to exploit any other team when we go forward."
Meanwhile, Ferdinand is adamant that the United players are all desperate to create more history for the club this season, despite many of the squad members already experiencing a lot of success in the past.
He added in The Sun: "Loads of things. I don't like to say we've got this and you haven't.
"It's all about doing it. Many players in our squad have done things, but this is the most important one.
"It's not about remembering the past, it's about trying to create more history and be a part of the history of this club."