Nemanja Vidic retains faith in Manchester United squad despite awful start to season

David Moyes faced a particular tough opening set of fixtures

Nemanja Vidic's faith in the quality of Manchester United's squad has not been shaken by their awful start to the Premier League campaign.

The tenure of David Moyes has been a curious affair to date.

Of the nine matches United have played under Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, it could be argued three were impressive, a further four somewhere between decent and average, the remaining two absolutely atrocious.

Last night's Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk falls firmly in the first category, both for the battling qualities United displayed and, importantly, the result, which was the first time in five attempts any English team had avoided defeat in Europe's most prestigious club competition at the Donbass Arena.

Yet, when United head to Sunderland on Saturday evening, they will do so as a team for whom anything but victory would be a calamity following those pitiful Premier League performances against Manchester City and West Brom.

"We have to accept it has not been a great start," said Vidic.

"We have not been getting the performances we would have liked and we also have to be realistic enough to accept we have made some mistakes.

"This team has a lot of potential and we are working really well.

"Sometimes the results don't come. Sometimes the performances don't come. But I am really positive.

"The most important thing is to defend right. If we defend well, I think we have a really good chance to win trophies."

The mistakes to which Vidic refers are individual errors rather than fundamental blunders by a new management structure any group of players would take time to adjust to following Ferguson's departure.

Yet, when the Serbian performs in the manner he did last night, helping to keep Shakhtar away from United's goal for long periods, it does seem better times are on the horizon.

"You don't want to make mistakes two or three times," he said.

"That is the main thing. Once you have made one, don't do it again.

"That is the thing we have to learn.

"The last 10 days have been tough. We lost concentration at certain times, which we shouldn't have allowed.

"We are doing everything we can. We just have to be patient."

If there is a substantial positive to take from such a difficult period it is that the spirit in what is acknowledged to be one of the tightest dressing rooms in the Premier League remains strong.

A number of individuals, Shinji Kagawa and Wilfried Zaha spring immediately to mind, may have cause to be irritated, but a lid is being kept on any frustration.

There is also an acknowledgement - as Moyes pointed out - that United have already faced three of their major rivals, and two of them away from home.

Similar sentiments were expressed a week ago when, fresh from beating Liverpool in the Capital One Cup, the visit of West Brom to Old Trafford was supposed to launch a belated start to the campaign.

Instead, United are staring down the barrel of a third straight top flight defeat for the first time since December 2001, dumped in the bottom half of the table, with a long climb ahead of them.

"I think this is a more important game," said Vidic of the weekend trip to Wearside.

"We need to get a few wins in a row.

"The situation is not that bad compared to the teams who you would think will also be competing for the title, or at least the ones who were the favourites.

"We know we have to improve. We know we have to work hard and stick together on the pitch.

"We did that against Shakhtar and hopefully we can do that over the next few weeks because with that kind of mentality we have a good chance to do well."

Moyes' team selection will be interesting given United appeared to have the right balance in Wayne Rooney's absence.

Yet Rooney has undoubtedly been United's star performer this season and with five goals in his last five games will be an automatic choice if he recovers from the shin injury sustained in training on Tuesday.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment