Vidic laughs off Torres talk
Nemanja Vidic has vowed to change the perception that he struggles against Fernando Torres when Manchester United go to Chelsea on Tuesday.
At Wigan on Saturday, Vidic was his usual obdurate self, combining with veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to keep Latics at bay during their enterprising opening.
However, after guiding United to a 4-0 win that put them four points ahead of nearest title challengers Arsenal, Vidic knows his next test is arguably his hardest.
Torres may be yet to score for Chelsea since his record £50million move from Liverpool but the Spain striker has terrorised Vidic often enough for the Serbian to be very wary about their next meeting.
Yet, the theory that Vidic is actually traumatised by his meetings with Torres is simply not true.
"Sometimes you read people saying that certain players have a hard job to play against someone else," said Vidic.
"Obviously, this is the opinion some people have (about him and Torres) because they always mention it.
"I don't have a problem with that. I can only change it on the pitch, not by saying what I think in the media. It actually just makes me more focused to do my job."
There is another common theory that has attached itself to this week's clash, namely that Chelsea, who have now slipped 15 points adrift of United, will be out of the running if they fail to win.
John Terry said as much last week and Vidic is hardly going to disagree.
"They are so many points behind, it would be very difficult for them to come back," he said.
"But anything can happen. If you look at the league and how many points we have lost and the games Chelsea lost in a row, you never know."
Even though Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out, in Vidic and Chris Smalling, United have a central defensive pairing at the top of their game.
Smalling is benefiting from the gentle cajoling he receives from his vastly experienced team-mate, who tends to be on hand when mistakes have been made.
Such performances as Saturday's have raised the possibility that the PFA may opt to elect a non-superstar as their player of the year given the most obvious choices, aside from Arsenal duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, have lacked the consistency Vidic has shown all campaign.
"It is not for me to decide whether I have ever played better," he added.
"I just try to limit my mistakes.
"As long as I am thinking like that I will keep myself on a good level.
"In all honesty, I am never happy with my game. I want to improve all the time."
Vidic's defensive capabilities laid the platform for a 13th successive United win over Wigan.
Javier Hernandez opened the scoring with a neat finish to Nani's near-post cross but it was not until the second-half that the visitors' cut loose.
Hernandez bagged his 13th goal of the season when he raced onto Wayne Rooney's through-ball and beat Ali Al Habsi with the minimum of fuss.
Rooney added a tap-in before Fabio rounded off the scoring with his first United goal.
It leaves Ferguson with a major selection headache if Rooney does manage to avoid sanctions for catching James McCarthy in the face with his elbow.
Although the England star is now on seven goals for the season, between them, Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, who started yesterday's game on the bench, have 33.
Not that Hernandez is going to be banging on Sir Alex Ferguson's door demanding to start.
"I am enjoying myself here," he said. "I am working a lot and feel I am really improving.
"The manager makes the decisions he has to make and I am ready if he needs me.
"Whether it is for one minute or 90, I just want to do my best."
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