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
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains