Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Manchester United defender Vidic is confident his knee problems are behind him

The Serbia international feels he has overcome his longstanding fitness issues, while he also remains confident of the Red Devils' title chances for the upcoming season

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is hopeful his injury troubles are now a thing of the past.

The 31-year-old first suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee in December 2011, before injuring the same knee last season on 19 September, requiring a meniscus operation that ruled him out until 15 December.

But after a carefully scheduled pre-season programme, Vidic believes he has put all of his

injury struggles behind him ahead of the new campaign.

"I had a few injuries, especially the knee injury," he told The Guardian after Sunday's 2-0 Community Shield win over Wigan.

"The sciatica was not a big problem but it was better for me to stay and train with the reserves. I've not had a pre-season for a couple of years and I was training really well with the reserves. I had two 90-minute games and I think I'm ready."

When asked if he can manage two matches in a week, Vidic replied: "I never like to make big promises but I believe I am fit. I am sure of how fit I am. I feel really good. Now it's all behind me, one-and-a-half years after my [first and more serious] operation and I'm ready to go."

The Red Devils enter the new campaign as the third favourites for the Premier League title, despite being defending champions.

But Vidic says he is taking no notice of the bookmakers and remains confident of a successful title defence.

"The question has been can we win the title again and I've always said after last season we have to work hard and show we are capable of winning again," he said. "We will show we can compete for the big trophies, Champions League and Premier League.

"We don't have a problem with that. We never fight for our place in the media, we like to fight on the pitch and we'll do that again.

"We respect everyone's opinion but we know the players we have here. We know what the expectations are. Like I said, we are just focused on winning the title and we are not very bothered about what else people say."