Man United need a leader in defence: Vidic

Manchester, April 19 (IANS) Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic believes the English football club needs a defensive leader to marshal the young defenders coming up from its academy in recent years.

With injuries plaguing them this season, coach Louis van Gaal had no option but to hand debuts to youngster like Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Joe Riley, Regan Poole and Donald Love.

The relatively young rear guard have performed brilliantly conceding just 30 goals in 33 English Premier League matches.

“I think it’s more difficult for defenders, especially when you have three or four of them playing together in the same match. For the young players who come in up front, you need that energy, imagination, happiness. You can let them play and be more free, but, in defence, I think you need someone who can lead these young boys,” Vidic was quoted as saying by the official club website on Tuesday.

“United have always brought youngsters into the team and of course they have ability, they have shown that in the games they’ve played but, when you want to win the trophies, you have to patient with them. You have to give them the right matches, develop them slowly so you can think about keeping them there for many years.”

Vidic says the same applies for strikers too and United need to be careful as to how they are developing them.

“It’s a longer process not just for the defenders but even for attackers. You have to be careful how you develop them,” he added.

“You have to accept that Manchester United always need to win trophies and when the club don’t, players have to accept some criticism and that can be hard for the younger ones to take. They need some experienced players to take that weight off their backs.”

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