Nemanja Vidic has warned Manchester United that failing to correct their defensive problems could cost them the Premier League title this season.
United only conceded 24 goals when winning the Premier League title two seasons ago and despite letting in just four more goals during the last campaign and scoring 18 more times, they missed out on the championship by a single point to Chelsea.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s team are already three points adrift of Chelsea this season after six games, with Wayne Rooney’s struggles in attack partly responsible, alongside their sudden weakness in defence.
United have made a habit of scoring late goals to steal points in the past, but this has not been the case this season.
Everton scored twice in stoppage time to take a point off United, while Fulham have also earned a draw with a goal late on as the Red Devils have let in nine goals in their six games.
They remain 9/4 to win the Premier League this season, but Vidic knows the importance of keeping more clean sheets and generally tightening up at the back.
He said: “It is a big concern that we are conceding so many away goals. We have to stop doing it. We cannot let it happen again.
“Over the last few years we haven’t given that many goals away or even allowed them so many chances. Before we have always looked strong, so this is not what we are used to. We have to play much better in our away games.”
Jonny Evans has partnered Vidic at the heart of the defence this season with Rio Ferdinand absent and has looked particularly suspect from crosses, while Vidic himself has seemingly struggled positional wise without Ferdinand’s guidance.
Meanwhile, Patrice Evra has made a slow start following France’s turmoils at the World Cup.
United are still awaiting their first away win and have let in seven goals in their three games on their travels, but can change this in their next Premier League outing at Sunderland.
Manchester United are 4/7 to win at Sunderland. See the whole Sunderland vs Manchester United match betting market.