Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has revealed why Nemanja Vidic has so far failed to find his form at the San Siro, following a high-profile move from Manchester United during the summer.
The recently-appointed Italian tactician backed the Serbian stopper to come good eventually, but sympathised with him and his current struggles as he comes to terms with the different way of playing in Serie 'A' compared to the Premier League.
Mancini is well aware of the former Red Devils centre-back's strengths and weaknesses from his time in charge of local rivals Manchester City, and he feels it's only a matter of time before Inter start seeing the best of Vidic, several months after his arrival.
"I've known him since the two of us were in Manchester and I'm sure he'll be useful to us," he was quoted saying by Goal.com.
"It's quite normal to encounter difficulties coming here because Italian football is totally different to the Premier League."
Article continues below
Mancini - who celebrates his 50th birthday today - left Vidic out of his first starting line-up picked for last weekend's 1-1 Milan derby draw, despite reverting to a more familiar 4-4-2 formation that the ex-Old Trafford star is much better suited to playing.
Under the previous tutelage of Walter Mazzarri, the 33-year-old was deployed in the middle of a central defensive three, but never looked particularly comfortable and his form has suffered as a result.
Vidic has become the target of serious criticism in the Italian media, partly due to the lofty reputation that precedes him following several years of success with Manchester United.
The five-time Premier League title winner is not used to the widespread condemnation he's receiving, but will take confidence from the fact that Mancini has provided public backing in the build-up to Inter's Europa League clash with FC Dnipro on Thursday.
Vidic has been linked with a surprise return to Manchester United in recent weeks as Louis van Gaal continues his search for defensive reinforcements in January. However, the former Red Devils skipper is unlikely to give up on his new challenge in Milan too easily, especially after the recent arrival of Mancini.
The former Citizens boss will look to utilise all of Vidic's experience in a bid to get the best out of the player for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign before taking stock on his situation at the end of the season.