Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho needs time to build winning team, says Nemanja Vidic
Last Updated: 11/04/17 6:55pm
Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic says Jose Mourinho "knows what he's doing" and requires time to build a winning team at Old Trafford.
Mourinho's men remain in contention for a top-four spot in the Premier League - currently four points off local rivals Manchester City in the final place with a game in hand - and face a Europa League quarter-final first leg this week.
Although a shot at winning the league is no longer viable, Vidic believes the Portuguese manager is on the right path to making the club title contenders again.
"We are not in the position we would like to be of course but we are fighting for the Champions League," the Serbian told Man Utd's official club website.
"Before the season you always think United should compete for the title but it is not easy. Mourinho came and brought in four players, but to build a winning team you need time, six months is not enough, but I do believe the team is growing.
"Mourinho has been in charge of big teams and won trophies in different countries so he has experience and I believe he knows what he is doing.
Zlatan getting better with age?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a curious case of a player improving after turning 30...
"I am looking forward to next season, but this season realistically, if we can get Champions League and the cup we won already then we have to be satisfied this year."
One of the stars this season has been striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has netted 28 goals in all competitions, and although he is yet to confirm his plans for the next campaign, Vidic has not been surprised by his success in England.
"I always knew that he was a top player," Vidic added. "I played a few times against him - he has played at different clubs, won many trophies and scored goals everywhere so it was not a surprise to me that he is scoring goals.
"English football is different but he adapted fast and in general, he has been consistent the whole season so I am really impressed by him especially the mentality that he still has and the hunger to play and score goals.
"At 35 years of age that is not easy because I am 35 and, to be fair, I am a bit tired of football and I need some times off to rest, but he seems like he is still enjoying playing football and that he feels good on the pitch.
"It's good for the club and I hope that he will continue to be fit and will perform like he has been for most of the season. I admire his presence. He is good with the ball and he is good in the build-ups and of course, when he is in the box he is a threat.
"To be fair he was never counting on speed as a player and that is a positive sign that he can do well again next year."
Another player who came in for particular praise from Vidic is former team-mate Antonio Valencia, who he says was one of his favourites at United.
"I love Valencia and I have to say he was one of my favourite players because he is honest and always gives his best. He is good on the ball, strong and fast and he can play in different positions so he is a great player," he said.
"I hope he will play for many more years on the level he is at now especially after the injury he had. It's not easy to come back after that so that shows his character and the spirit he has.
"He has played many games this season and has been consistent and is a good player. He is one of the strongest players. He has both speed and strength, so it is not easy to play against him."