Vidic frustrated by Manchester United errors

Nemanja Vidic has told his team-mates to cut out the defensive lapses that are wrecking their Premier League title campaign.

Defeats for Chelsea and Arsenal on Saturday should have been the start of a perfect weekend for United, who would have moved to within a point of Carlo Ancelotti's men if they had beaten Bolton at the Reebok Stadium yesterday.

Instead, the problems which are proving so difficult to eradicate reared their heads again.

A combination of slack marking by Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra moving away from the post he was supposed to be defending allowed Zat Knight to put Bolton ahead.

Then, after Nani had scored a brilliant equaliser, the visitors offered Martin Petrov far too much room to exhibit his talents as he cut inside Park Ji-sung to drive a second goal beyond Edwin van der Sar.

In the end, United were lucky to have the chance of settling for a point given Johan Elmander blasted a brilliant opportunity over the bar which surely would have given Bolton victory.

Yet, while Michael Owen's third goal in a week ensured United did not make the short journey back down the M61 empty-handed, the brutal truth is that they have now conceded nine goals in five Premier League games.

Even basement boys Everton have done better than that, while Sir Alex Ferguson's men are still to record an away win in three attempts.

"It is a big concern that we are conceding so many away goals," said Vidic.

"We have to stop doing it. We cannot let it happen again."

It hardly seems believable that the same defenders responsible for the present malaise should concede just 22 and 24 goals respectively during the entire Premier League title-winning campaigns of 2008 and 2009.

Rio Ferdinand's absence is clearly not helping but the England skipper was also missing when United went 14 games without conceding a goal during the mid-winter of the 2008-09 campaign that also included a trip to Japan for the Club World Cup.

As the man who now wears the captain's armband, Vidic feels the responsibility more than most.

"Over the last few years we haven't given that many goals away or even allowed them so many chances," he said.

"Before we have always looked strong, so this is not what we are used to.

"We have to play much better in our away games."

As United go to Valencia on Wednesday needing to breathe fresh life into their Champions League campaign before visiting Sunderland on Saturday, the need for improvement is immediate.

Ferdinand is expected to be back for the Spain trip, which Ferguson felt was sufficiently important to miss last week's Carling Cup tie against Scunthorpe in order to go on a spying mission.

With three successive goalless draws in Spain to look back on, including the 2008 semi-final against Barcelona, United do have memories of defensive solidity to fall back on, even if it goes against Ferguson's belief that victory is essential.

In addition to getting things right at the back, Ferguson must also decide what to do with Wayne Rooney.

The United boss may not have taken too kindly to Kevin Keegan's comments but they were given with the benefit of having been the marquee player of his era.

Few can understand the pressures Rooney has to operate under. However, as a former England captain and manager, Keegan has more of an idea than most.

The problem for Ferguson is a balance between keeping faith with a player who was so outstanding last season and getting the most from a team for whom Rooney is current third on the list of in-form strikers, behind Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen.

Antonio Valencia's long-term injury and a rather shorter two-week absence for Ryan Giggs also deny Ferguson the option of using Rooney as a lone striker flanked by two quick wingers, as he did so effectively last term.

Given Ferguson's assistant Mike Phelan yesterday revealed Rooney was still troubled by an ankle complaint, there must be an argument for giving the 24-year-old a complete break to give his body and mind a chance to recover from the physical and emotional trauma he has been through recently.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London