Vidic: Stronger squad can help United regain title

Nemanja Vidic is confident Manchester United are perfectly placed to end the hurt of surrendering their Premier League title to Chelsea. With his own future resolved after reaching a verbal agreement over a lucrative new contract, Vidic can concentrate on his work at the heart of United's defence.

Regular partner Rio Ferdinand will be sidelined until September at least because of the knee injury he suffered in training prior to the World Cup, so Sir Alex Ferguson will again be heavily reliant on the 28-year-old Serb, whose present deal is due to expire in 2012. Yet with Jonny Evans another year into his footballing education, John O'Shea and Wes Brown both fit and Chris Smalling arrived from Fulham to bolster United's defensive ranks, Vidic feels the club are in good shape as they try to reassert their authority and reclaim a title they had won in each of the defender's three full seasons prior to the last one.

"It hurt to lose the title, especially as it was very close," said Vidic. "We finished just one point behind Chelsea and were very disappointed we didn't make it. But this is a new season, we have to forget what happened last year, and the three before that if I am truthful. Our targets do not change. We have to win the League again and now we are stronger."

Vidic's reasoning is simple. During one horrendous spell last term, Ferguson had to use Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher as makeshift defenders due to a chronic lack of bodies.

Although nothing can be taken for granted, losing five potential centre-backs at one time is unlikely to happen again, and with Smalling around too it would take a pretty unfortunate turn of events for United to get caught out in the coming campaign.

"There are more players to choose from now," said Vidic. "Last year we had injuries and for a period a few midfield players had to come into the defence, which is not good. Now we have a lot of options in each position which is important because we are looking to win all the trophies this season."

It is Ferguson's other major summer purchase, Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, who has been causing the biggest stir. Hernandez took his tally to three in as many pre-season games with his instinctive effort in Wednesday night's drubbing of the Airtricity League XI and after earning comparisons to legendary predator Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from his manager, could be the bargain of the summer.

The 22-year-old is set to feature in Sunday's Community Shield at a Wembley ground he played on for his country in May. Chelsea lie in wait for the third time in four years, having claimed last season's encounter on penalties. Vidic admits a small dose of revenge would be sweet, and would serve notice of United's intentions over the coming months.

However, he accepts the fixture remains a glorified pre-season match and what really counts is the state of the two clubs in May.

"It is always nice to win and that would be the case against Chelsea, even if it is before the start of the season," he said. "But the most important thing is what happens at the end. This year our gaffer wanted a few players to rest and be fresher in December and January when the more important games come around. That was when we got the injuries last year. Hopefully we will be a bit luckier this time."

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas