"Manchester United will cope with current defensive crisis" - Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United will cope without Nemanja Vidic despite the lack of cover in defence, according to fellow defender Rio Ferdinand.

United’s defence was already stretched before it emerged that Vidic would be missing for two months after undergoing surgery on his knee.

With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling both in the treatment room, United have been left with Ferdinand and Jonny Evans as the only fit centre halves and an injury to either of them would cause serious problems for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Michael Carrick could be called on if required, but Ferdinand is confident the squad will cope in Vidic’s absence in much the same way they dealt with a defensive injury crisis last term.

“We got within one kick of winning the league last season having to deal with that, so fingers crossed with the experience we have gained having to do that, we should be in good stead,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

“The disappointing thing has not been getting the stability in the defence – but again that is testament to our squad. We have players who can come in and perform. Jonny Evans came in at Liverpool for Nemanja Vidic and performed very well.”

“We have had to deal with a lot of defensive changes for the last couple of years and we are getting used to it now. But it would help if we could get some consistency with players playing week in, week out. It is the bedrock for success.”