Wes Brown was swift to salute the work of United's defensive stand-ins after making a triumphant return to the Reds' backline at Hull.
A dizzying defensive merry-go-round has seen countless players deputise out of position in recent weeks. Although the Reds slipped up against Aston Villa and Fulham, three wins out of five marked a respectable return for a patched-up United side.
On Sunday, the Reds' platform for victory at the KC Stadium was an outstanding dual display from Brown and Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the defence, but Brown paid tribute for the players who made way to accommodate the more natural defenders.
"They've been telling us to hurry up and get fit," he told MUTV. "But they've done well. I can't remember (a spate of injuries) like it. We've handled it pretty well, we've got a good squad.
"Like the gaffer has said, though, if you do it so many times then you'll get caught out eventually, so it was good that me and Vida were back today. Hopefully soon we'll have Jonny (Evans), Gaz (Neville) and Rio (Ferdinand) back too and we'll be back to a full strength squad."
With several players still sidelined, the Reds were made to sweat for three vital points at the KC Stadium, and Brown felt that the champions earned