Vidic: Rio return is like new signing

Given their performances over the past four years, it hardly seems

like a coincidence that Vidic’s reunion with his long-time central

defensive colleague has already yielded two clean sheets. Although

the last one, at Sunderland earlier this month, was not the

platform for a much-hoped-for win and saw the Red Devils slip five

points behind Chelsea in the Premier League pecking order, having

their defensive axis back in unison must give United a lift ahead

of Saturday’s clash with West Brom. Certainly Vidic is delighted to

see his old mate back in action after long-standing back and knee

problems. “Rio played against Valencia and Sunderland and looked

fit and I watched England’s game against Montenegro, when he also

looked very sharp,” observed Vidic. “I am glad he is fit and I hope

he doesn’t have any more injuries because over the last couple of

years they have caused him so many problems. “Hopefully this year

he will be ready. If he is, it will be like a big signing for us.”

Vidic has had a bit more time on his hands this week due to the

suspension he was forced to serve following his booking in Serbia’s

surprise Euro 2012 defeat to Estonia last week. Although the former

Red Star hard man was probably upset to miss the trip to Italy, it

turned out to be a good game to sit out given the carnage that

ensued. Vidic is keeping his thoughts to himself about the violence

from Serbia’s own supporters that forced the match to be abandoned,

which could yet see his country thrown out of the competition

altogether. Instead, he is concentrating on the visit of West Brom,

and the start of a congested period of matches he hopes will wake

United from their early season slumber. “I wouldn’t say we are

under more pressure because of our previous results. At Manchester

United we are under pressure anyway,” he said. “We have to win, it

doesn’t matter whether we play home or away. “This is the mentality

we must have because that is the ambition of the club. “You have to

reach that high and you have to remain consistent, it doesn’t

matter if you are home or away.” Vidic certainly does not view the

Premier League table, which unusually has United under neighbours

Manchester City, as a reason to panic. “It is the beginning of the

season and we have lost a few points, I accept that,” he said. “If

you look at the last year, we lost a lot of points but Chelsea won

the title and they lost some as well. “It will be the same this

year because, if anything, the competition is even better than it

was before. “This is the time of year when we traditionally start

doing better. I hope this season will be the same.”