Belfast Telegraph

Vidic calls for United to stay sharp

Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic believes his team-mates must retain their focus even though he views them as favourites to retain the Premier League title.

United's lead at the top of the table was cut to a single point by Manchester City's dramatic win over Chelsea on Wednesday night. However, Sir Alex Ferguson's men remain strongly fancied, particularly as City appear to have a tougher run-in, starting with Saturday's tricky trip to Stoke.

United know if they win their final nine games, they will be champions for a record 20th time, and Vidic told www.manutd.com: "I have had belief from the beginning and if you look at the schedule of the games we have left to play I would like to say we are the favourites."

He added: "We have nine Champions League final games now I would say.

"It's all in our hands. We have to focus and give our best."

Vidic will play no part in the run-in after rupturing his cruciate ligament during the Champions League defeat to Basle in December.

Although there have been some suggestions the 30-year-old could be rushed back into action before the end of the season, Vidic insists that is not on the cards and his target remains the start of next term.

"My recovery is going well," he said.

"Obviously the projection was I would be ready for the next season. I am on schedule and will hopefully start training again in July."

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