Nemanja Vidic has warned Wigan that Manchester United intend to use the Community Shield to fine-tune their preparations for their hardest start to a season in years.
United have a chance to win a first trophy under manager David Moyes when they meet FA Cup winners Wigan at Wembley on Sunday.
And with a daunting early-season fixture list, captain Vidic is aiming to hit the ground running against Wigan.
He told United’s official website: “We always use that game as a real test before the season starts. Of course, we want to win the trophy but when you look at the fixtures we’ve been given I think it’s the toughest games we’ve been given for the last seven or eight years.
“We know we need to be ready and prepared and that’s why it’s been really good to see how focused the players are since we got back.”
United begin the defence of their Premier League title away at Capital One Cup winners Swansea before taking on Chelsea in Moyes’ first home league game.
They also travel to Liverpool and Manchester City before the end of September.
Vidic believes new manager Moyes has the determination to prove a worthy successor to the retired Sir Alex Ferguson.
He added: The way he’s working with us in training and talking to us and the energy he has brought to the club makes me believe he is going to be really good for United. I can already see he has a great work ethic, he showed that at Everton, and that’s going to be important for this club; United is built on a great work ethic. I think he is a great manager to replace Sir Alex.”