Fergie makes case for Reds defence

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed the defensive partnership of Nemanja Vidic

and Wes Brown as the key to Manchester United’s 5-0 hammering of


After a month of trying to patch up his threadbare defence,

Ferguson finally has two recognised central defenders available.

And the improvement has been clear to see as United followed

up Sunday’s victory at Hull by turning in a five-star show against

Latics that allowed United to reach 2010 just two points adrift of

leaders Chelsea and scenting another Premier League title.

“The key to both tonight and Sunday was having the two

centre-halves back,” said Ferguson, who celebrates his 68th

birthday on Thursday.

“Brown and Vidic were magnificent, as they were at Hull. If

we get the rest of them back we have a magnificent chance because

we are in great form.”

As Jonny Evans is in contention to face Leeds in the FA Cup

on Sunday and Rio Ferdinand is not far behind the Northern Ireland

star as he plots a comeback from a back injury, Ferguson could soon

have his usual squad to choose from.