Rio Ferdinand has backed Manchester United to cope without Nemanja Vidic after the Serbian defender was ruled out for two months with a knee injury.
Vidic went under the knife last week after medical tests following his withdrawal from United’s win over Liverpool on Sunday revealed ligament damage.
The United skipper missed the second half of last season with a similar injury, and Ferdinand believes the fact they came so close to winning a record 20th league title last time shows they are capable of coping without him.
"We got within one kick of winning the league last season having to deal with that," said Ferdinand. "So, fingers crossed, with the experience we have gained having to do that, we should be in good stead.
"The disappointing thing has not been getting the stability in the defence - but again that is testament to our squad.
United face something of a defensive injury crisis going into their weekend fixture against Tottenham at Old Trafford, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both currently sidelined.
Previously this season Michael Carrick has been forced to drop back from midfield to defence, although against Liverpool full-time defender Jonny Evans stepped in for Vidic.
Ferdinand believes that despite their problems United can continue winning games – but admits he is eager for stability at the back.
"We have players who can come in and perform," he said.
"Jonny Evans came in at Liverpool for Nemanja Vidic and performed very well.
"We have had to deal with a lot of defensive changes for the last couple of years and we are getting used to it now.
"But it would help if we could get some consistency with players playing week in, week out. It is the bedrock for success."