Manchester United never doubted Berbatov insists Vidic

Nemanja Vidic insists his Manchester United team-mates have never doubted the quality of Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian finally silenced the snipers at Old Trafford yesterday when he became the first United player since Stan Pearson in 1946 to score a hat-trick against old rivals Liverpool.

His second - a perfectly executed overhead kick - was a goal of outstanding quality, although it was the winner, which came just six minutes from time after a Steven Gerrard inspired comeback which meant most to the Red Devils faithful.

The United support has never been entirely convinced of Berbatov's value, especially as his club record £30.75million arrival from Tottenham two years ago was the major contributing factor to Carlos Tevez's disenchantment and eventual departure.

But new skipper Vidic claimed that inside the United dressing room, Berbatov's class was acknowledged by all.

"We are all aware how good Dimitar is," said Vidic.

"His skills with the ball are incredible.

"The criticism he got last year was because he didn't score many goals.

"This season he is scoring a lot, and important goals too."

In the same way Wayne Rooney did last year, Berbatov seems to be benefiting from becoming more selfish.

He has now scored seven times this season and has now joined Chelsea's Florent Malouda at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts.

"He has learned what he has to do," said Vidic. "He has changed his game compared to last season. He is in the box more and is more of a threat.

"Dimitar has always had a great touch and gave us composure but because he is also going into the box, he is scoring goals.

"That is why he is getting so much credit.

"If he keeps doing that we have a good chance to win the league and for him to gain some personal reward by becoming player of the year."

Team accolades also mean more to Vidic because he will be the man picking up the trophies after Ferguson confirmed last week the Serbian was his new captain.

Vidic is happy with the honour, although with Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand around, he acknowledges there are more leaders in the team than just him.

"Being captain will add to my game," he said.

"I am still doing what I did before; doing my best to help the team but I am also trying to raise my game to play even better.

"It is a big responsibility but like I said before, Gary, Ryan and Rio have worn the armband over the years and they are the example for all the players.

"When you have people like that around it is very easy."

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