• Premier League

Ferguson planning to alternate Rio & Vidic

ESPN staff
January 10, 2013
It could be a case of 'one in, one out' for Manchester United's leading defenders © Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson has said he will rotate his experienced central defenders for the rest of the season in a bid to keep them both fit.

The Manchester United manager is alternating between Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who have not started a game together since the Serbian returned in December after three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

The duo have been the regular partnership for most of the seven years since Vidic's arrival from Spartak Moscow but Ferguson has been giving them every other game of late.

Jonny Evans was the only centre-back to start all four league games over the Christmas and New Year period and Ferguson hinted the Northern Ireland international is the first choice now.

But after an autumn defensive injury crisis, he now has all five central defenders fit, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones offering other options.

Ferguson said: "We are rotating at the moment with Rio and Vidic. The return of Smalling and Jones is definitely a help because we can then alternate Vidic and Ferdinand.

"Jonny Evans has been absolutely magnificent and he's progressed by playing regularly. With Smalling and Jones, their careers at United have been interrupted by injury, and you hope long-term things will settle down for them and they'll be OK.

"But it's good to have them all because they're all very good players."

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