Vidic: Manchester United must prove Champions League credentials after early exit last year

The centre-back has called on his fellow team-mates to banish the disappointments of 2011-12 and triumph over Real Madrid to advance to the quarter-final stage

Nemanja Vidic has admitted Manchester United were “too confident” in the Champions League group stage last season, and now must prove their European credentials against Real Madrid.

The Premier League leaders have never tasted victory at Bernabeu over Los Blancos, but the centre-back believes his side’s early exit in 2011 will act as a source of encouragement to progress to the quarter-final stage.

“We have a lot of things to prove.” Serbia international Vidic told the Daily Mirror. “Last season, we were too confident in the group stage.

“We lost some points but we thought we were going to go through. The boss made it clear last season wasn’t good enough. But we know that ourselves.”

Real Madrid have endured an inconsistent domestic campaign, winning just seven of their last 14 league outings, but Vidic is not taking anything for granted.

After conceding six goals in as many group games before the turn of the year, the Serbian recognised that such carelessness at the back will be duly punished by Madrid and urged his fellow team-mates to focus in all areas of the pitch.

Vidic added to FourFourTwo magazine: “You have to have a winning mentality if you play for Manchester United.

“When you have a season without trophies like last year it makes you realise that you have to improve. You have to learn from your mistakes.

“The approach this year has been different in the Champions League. We’re going to have to play as a team. We need to get it right defensively and not concede as many goals in the first leg.

“You have to be solid. Not just at the back but all over the pitch. You have to have quality.”

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