Nemanja Vidic has backed team-mate and fellow defender Rio Ferdinand on his recent return to the England squad.

After being previously left out by England manager Roy Hodgson for "footballing reasons", a string of good performances has seen Ferdinand called up for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Vidic told Sky Sports: "It's good for Rio. He deserves the call, he has played well this season and can help the national team."

Ferdinand has been a integral part of United's season and provided the assist to their only goal on Saturday in a 1-0 victory over Reading.

The victory extended United's lead at the top of the table to 15 points with just eight games remaining.

However, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed he was surprised about Ferdinand's recall and that he has reservations over Ferdinand playing twice for England and then returning to play Sunderland and Chelsea in the space of three days.

It is a view also shared by Vidic who believes it will be challenging for Ferdinand to keep up with the tricky schedule.

He said: "He would have two international games, then when he comes back we have two games in three days in the Premier League and FA Cup.

"Can he play all of these games? All I can say is that I hope he does well."

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