Stoke City v Manchester United: Nemanja Vidic must fight for place, warns David Moyes ahead of Capital One Cup tie
Wednesday 18 December 2013
David Moyes has warned his captain Nemanja Vidic he cannot expect to walk straight back into the Manchester United team as they prepare to face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
Vidic is ready to return after missing two games with a minor injury suffered in the Premier League defeat by Newcastle at Old Trafford. Yet those two matches have both been wins, in which United have managed to keep successive clean sheets for only the second time this season.
Jonny Evans and Phil Jones looked particularly untroubled at Aston Villa on Sunday. While Vidic has been the cornerstone of United's defence following his arrival from Spartak Moscow almost eight years ago, the Serb has been plagued by injuries since rupturing his cruciate ligaments in the Champions League against Basel in December 2011.
"Nemanja is just about ready to play now," said Moyes. "But we have five centre-halves. There is competition for places there and you are going to have to play well to stay in the team."
The Stoke manager, Mark Hughes, is wary of a backlash from his former club after their recent resurgence. "United teams always display the same characteristic traits," he said. "You know United players react to criticism and we have to be careful with that. They have a great squad."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head