Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic handed new boss David Moyes a huge boost after successfully coming through his first pre-season game on Tuesday night.
Vidic played the full 90 minutes of United’s game against AIK in Stockholm and declared himself satisfied with his fitness levels as he battles to overcome a persistent back problem that forced him to sit out the club’s tour of the Far East and Australia last month.
While the absence of Wayne Rooney dominated the build-up to the prestige friendly in Sweden, Vidic’s successful return was the most positive news after as the game ended in a 1-1 draw, with substitute Angelo Henriquez equalising for the Red Devils in the second half.
“I am pleased that I have 90 minutes under my belt,” Vidic told MUTV.
“It’s a long time since I’ve played a full game. I am pleased with that and I hope that after this game I can pick up my fitness and I will be ready for the beginning of the season.
“It’s frustrating when you don’t get the games. I’ve done some good training but it’s different when you’re playing a match. I got 90 minutes tonight and we have two more games before the start of the league season. Hopefully I can get another 90 minutes before then.”
Vidic admitted United needed to improve after an indifferent run of results in their pre-season fixtures, but he complimented AIK on their spirited performance at the Friends Arena.
“AIK worked very hard and they made some trouble for us,” added the Serbian centre-back. “We allowed them too many chances and we have to improve our shape in defence. We can work on that and I think we will be fine.”
Rooney missed the game in Sweden with what United described as a shoulder injury, yet the speculation over his future continues to dominate back page headlines after Chelsea had another bid for the striker rejected on Monday.