Belfast Telegraph

Vidic hopes for United sprint start

Nemanja Vidic has called on Manchester United to make a fast start when they begin their Premier League title defence at West Brom on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men are notorious for being slow out of the blocks. Last season, they only managed 14 points from their first eight fixtures, leading many pundits to write them off, but United quickly recovered to secure a record 19th championship.

With Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea to face in the opening five weeks - and both Liverpool and Manchester City looming in October - Vidic told CNN: "I am just hoping we reach our form from the beginning of the season. We have a really tough schedule and some tough games in the first few weeks but if we perform the best we can, I believe we can win the title again."

Chelsea and City are set to be the main threat to their supremacy. Both have spent heavily on players this year in an effort to bridge the gap, but Vidic believes United have a major advantage in the fact Sir Alex Ferguson has been their manager for almost 25 years.

"The manager brings stability," he said. "He built the road that all players follow. Even now we have three new players but the system is already there. This is the great thing.

"Other clubs have a problem because they change their coach every year and new players come in. Sometimes they have a problem to build a team."

Nevertheless, Vidic has been around too long to believe it will be easy for the Red Devils.

United might have won a huge amount of praise for their performance in Sunday's Community Shield, but other than a minor trophy, their captain knows it will count for nothing in the hard weeks that lie ahead.

"Chelsea are always there," he said. "They have experience. They have players who have been together for a few years.

"They know each other very well and will be hungry to win the title this year. Manchester City have a few signings. They will be even stronger this year. They have been together for a year and will be a bigger rival."

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