FOOTBALL NEWS

“We can work on a lot of different things together and focus ourselves for the end of the season. Traditionally we tend to do well over winter, our form tends to improve. Hopefully we can do the same this year.”

 - Nemanja Vidic

14/12/2011 14:00, Report by M Froggatt, N Coppack
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United tipped for top winter

Nemanja Vidic believes United can turn up the heat during the busy Christmas period as the Reds chase glory in the Barclays Premier League.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are traditionally strong during the festive season. Recently-published statistics show United have won more points than any other top-flight team in the 17-31 December period since 2007.

And despite being sidelined for the rest of the campaign after rupturing cruciate knee ligaments in Basel, Vidic is sure his team-mates can maintain  this Yuletide custom and build momentum with international football now on the backburner until February.

The skipper told Inside United: “Often we’ll play on Wednesday and then Saturday, Wednesday and then Saturday. This helps you get into a rhythm and training during this time is all about recovery and rest. Physically, it’s easier on your body when you’re not travelling for international football.

“If you’ve been away with your country it can sometimes take you two days to adjust when you get back to Manchester. Now, until February, all the players will be together and concentrating only on Manchester United.

“We can work on a lot of different things together and focus ourselves for the end of the season. Traditionally we tend to do well over winter, our form tends to improve. Hopefully we can do the same this year.”

The Serbian colossus, whose transfer from Spartak Moscow was famously announced on ManUtd.com on Christmas Day in 2005, also explained why he originally struggled to cope with festive football, having previously enjoyed the rejuvenating benefits of the Russian Premier League’s winter break.

“December and January can be very difficult mentally, not just physically,” Vidic said. “When you play so many games in one year without a break it can be very hard. There’s always pressure at this club; you have pressure to win this game and then the next game and then the game after that.

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