With Manchester City struggling so badly with captain Vincent Kompany missing for just a few games, former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce has sung the praises of United for coping so well without Vidic for most of the season. Bruce has singled out Jonny Evans for praise with the young defender coming on leaps and bounds since last season.

“Of course, they have missed Vidic but Jonny Evans has now played over 20 league games and has very quietly done extremely well,” he said. “He’s only 23, he’s played in big games and has handled himself brilliantly. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have got all the headlines because they’ve had a meteoric rise, but I think Jonny Evans has done particularly well in filling the gap left by Vidic. It’s also important that Rio Ferdinand has come back and just given them that stability. I think defenders get better with age. Even though you might lose that half-yard of pace it gets easier. The art of defending lies in your concentration levels, and that is something which gets easier with age. It’s particularly important at United, where you are constantly on the attack and you need to stay switched on even when you might not have too much to do.”

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