Vidic calls on United to stick together in adversity
Nemanja Vidic has called on his Manchester United team-mates to stick together so they can emerge from their present problems.
United head into Saturday's Premier League encounter with Newcastle having slipped to ninth in the table following their midweek defeat by Everton.
They are presently 12 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and five behind Liverpool, who occupy the final Champions League place.
It is a tricky situation, not made any easier, according to Vidic's long-time central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand, by David Moyes' preference for leaving it late to name his team.
The former England centre-half believes that makes it more difficult to prepare for matches, claiming the uncertainty "turns you into a mad man".
"This manager is a bit different in that he doesn't name the team beforehand, you don't get to know the team," Ferdinand told BT Sport.
"The old manager used to give you a little bit of an idea if you were playing.
"When you know you're playing the intensity goes up a little bit.
"That's what you've got to try and do even if you're not sure if you're playing.
"It's hard to do mentally. You spend a lot of nervous energy thinking 'am I playing, am I not playing'.
"Keep just going round in circles in your head, enough to turn you into a mad man."
It is hardly a ringing endorsement of Moyes' managerial methods.
Yet Vidic insists a united front is the only way United will come through their present strife.
"I always believe in the squad we have and the work we do. There is no question about that," he told MUTV.
"We have to accept we are not in the position we want and it's obviously not the best feeling in the world.
"All the players realise we have to stick together, have to perform better and start winning games.
"Doing that will raise the confidence and everything will get better."
Various theories have been put forward as the reason for United's present malaise.
But Vidic does not believe trawling back over what has gone wrong does any good.
"We cannot look back," he said.
"We have to look forward and think about what's coming up in the next few weeks."
And, whilst anticipated title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City do seem to have found some form, Vidic believes the situation is not quite as drastic as it might have been.
"Other teams have dropped points as well," he said.
"We are ninth in the table but the points difference is not as big as you'd expect if you look at the amount of games we've won, drawn and lost.
"That shows that the league has either got stronger or that the top teams have not yet hit really good form."