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Aug 11, 2011

Vidic: Fergie presence brings stability

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic believes the continuity afforded to the club by Sir Alex Ferguson's long tenure as manager has been key to the Red Devils' success.

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Vidic, 29, has blossomed into one of the world's best defenders under Ferguson since arriving as a relative unknown from Spartak Moscow in January 2006.

The Serbian defender has won 13 trophies in six years at Old Trafford and United head into the new season as favourites to add another Premier League title to their already bulging collection.

Vidic believes that United enjoy an advantage over their rivals because of the presence in the dugout of Ferguson, who will soon celebrate his 25th anniversary as manager of the club.

"The manager brings stability," Vidic 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."

United managed to win the title last season despite getting off to a slow start and Vidic believes it is crucial for the reigning champions to be quicker out of the blocks this time around.

"I am just hoping we reach our form from the beginning of the season,'' Vidic told CNN. "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.''

Vidic and his team-mates take on West Brom this Sunday before tricky fixtures against Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea in the opening five weeks, with the centre-back predicting the Blues and local rivals Manchester City will be United's main challengers.

"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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