Vidic already feels at home at Old Trafford

January 10, 2006

Manchester United new boy Nemanja Vidic insists he wants to be his own man rather than be compared to any illustrious Old Trafford old boys.

United's £7million capture from Spartak Moscow is due to make his debut in next week's FA Cup replay with Burton.

Reports of an aggressive, uncompromising approach to his defending have seen the 24-year-old viewed as a Steve Bruce-type figure, able to bring the best out of underperforming £29.1million man Rio Ferdinand.

But Vidic is happy enough to be himself and claims not to have modelled his game on anyone.

'When I was a child there were some fabulous players but really I don't try to imitate or copy anyone and I don't have any role models,' he said.

'I am trying to be myself, make my own style and produce my own image.'

Although Vidic earned rave reviews for his part in a Serbia and Montenegro defensive effort that conceded just one goal on their way to next summer's World Cup finals, some concern has been expressed at the difficulty he may have adapting to the hurly-burly of Barclays Premiership combat.

Yet boss Sir Alex Ferguson has no fears, insisting it will only take the new arrival a couple of games to settle in, and Vidic does not anticipate any problems either.

'The players have accepted me already, been very friendly and made me feel very welcome,' he said.

'I cannot see anything else presenting a problem now.

'I am sure English football would suit me and I will adapt very quickly.'

Providing Patrice Evra passes a medical as expected later today, the £12million overall outlay appears to mark the end of Ferguson's spending during the January transfer window.

With both Michael Ballack and Thomas Gravesen ruled out on age grounds and no alternative candidate available at present, it is understood Ferguson will instead place his trust in the likes of Alan Smith and Darren Fletcher to provide support for Paul Scholes in the United midfield during the remainder of the campaign.

At least the glaring defensive frailties have been addressed though and while Vidic will wait for his debut, Evra should go straight into the squad for tomorrow's Carling Cup semi-final with Blackburn at Ewood Park.

'In football, there is never the last piece of the jigsaw,' said Ferguson. 'You are always chasing the rainbow, no matter how successful you are.

'You always look to improve, which is what we are trying to do here.

'We may do things differently to some other clubs but the one great thing I have always had at my time at United is the backing to take a long-term view of things.

'We have the opportunity of looking a little bit further ahead to see how players will be in two or three years' time.

'Obviously, we also have to try to maintain success at the same time.

'It is not easy but we are not far away. We think the present squad, staying together, can achieve that.'