Nemanja Vidic has told Manchester United’s players not to feel sorry for themselves after Sunday’s derby thrashing and it is up to them, rather than manager David Moyes, to ensure it does not lead to a slump.
Vidic captained United as they were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and has urged his team-mates to pick themselves up and produce a response when they face Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
Vidic said: “We cannot be sad and feel sorry for ourselves. We can’t afford to do that. We have to react and win the next match.”
When United were beaten 6-1 by City two years ago, they went on to win their next three league games, and the centre-back takes heart from United’s record of producing the right sort of reaction to losses.
He added: “We have been beaten in the past. It is not the first derby defeat so it is not a first for a United captain.”
Whereas Sir Alex Ferguson was able to inspire past recoveries after defeats, now Moyes is the United manager, but Vidic believes that should not change anything and called on the senior players in the dressing room to ensure they return to form.
He added: “This is a club that has a history. This is a club who has players who have won so many titles and the players are all national team players. There is so much experience. We have to bounce back but this has hurt.
“The most important thing that the new manager and the old manager said was that you have to bounce back and win the next game.”
Vidic is eager to banish the bad memories created at the Etihad Stadium.
He said: “You don’t want to lose derby games in this way and, trust me, no-one will want to remember this. It is tough when you lose the derby game and especially the way we lost. It was never close to a draw or a win. But the worst part of it was the defeat.”
United are hopeful Robin van Persie will be fit in time for the meeting with Liverpool.