I knew Man United could survive without me, insists Nemanja Vidic
Nemanja Vidic claims he was always confident Manchester United could defend their Premier League crown without him
Nemanja Vidic has hailed the contribution of Manchester United’s young defenders after his season came to a premature end in December.
Sir Alex Ferguson has relied on the defensive trio of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to provide cover for Vidic after the 30-year-old damaged his knee ligaments in United’s 2-1 defeat by Basel back in December.
Vidic, who has won four Premier League titles since joining from Spartak Moscow in 2006, insisted he was always confident the Red Devils could mount a title challenge despite his absence.
“It doesn’t matter who is out,” Vidic told PA Sport. “Manchester United never depend on one player. If you look at the past, players have left and fans have said how are we going to do but they still win titles and trophies.
“That is why Manchester United are special. That is why the manager is the best at replacing players and finding young players. He showed that over the years. I believed we would challenge for the title. We changed some players last season and others went.
“We got some young players. We didn’t expect the young players would play that many games and would have so much influence on the team. This is a great plus for the club.
“Obviously we have had some injuries over the past year, which is another difficult thing we have gone through. We have had so many players get injured at different times. But we have coped and been very competitive with Manchester City.
“Now we are at the top of the league and have a big chance to win it.”
Vidic had been linked with an early return to first-team action before the end of the season – but the Serb has revealed that he will not play any further part in United’s title challenge.
“I never thought about coming back. I am not pushing,” he added.
“I am lucky, the manager and the physios and the doctor weren’t trying to beat the record.
“They didn’t want me to come back in five months. Five months from the injury would be one game to the end. There would be no point rushing to play one or two games. That helps as well.
“I am looking to next season. As soon as I got the injury and had the operation, I knew I wouldn’t be back this season. I am just focused on next season.”