Nemanja Vidic says he believed ‘until the last minute’ Manchester United would score in their 1-0 defeat to Everton on Monday.
A sustained period of late pressure came to nothing for United as Marouane Fellaini’s lone goal made the difference in a opening loss for last season’s English Premier League runners-up.
“We knew it would be a hard game,” club captain Vidic told MUTV.
“They did what they’re best at – playing long balls and focusing on set-pieces. They had a few chances and in the end deserved to score, but we’re never happy when we concede from a set-piece.
“We had some possession but we weren’t clinical. When you go away from home you expect the home side to have some chances, but we need to be more clinical.”
A high rate of injuries for United meant midfielder Michael Carrick was forced to deputize at the back alongside Vidic, who refused to blame a makeshift back-line for the result.
“When you come to places like Everton who will play long balls into the box you need big, strong defenders, but we won’t use injuries as an excuse,” he said.
“I thought the players who came in gave their best and hopefully we’ll have a couple of defenders ready for the next game.
“Towards the end of the game Everton looked a bit tired and I believed, even up until the last minute, we would score because we had some good possession and they sat back a bit. Unfortunately we just couldn’t get the goal.
“It wasn’t a great game but we’re already looking forward to the next one. We’ve lost our first match (of the season) in the past and finished well so hopefully we can win our next game and go on a long run.”
United now prepare to host Fulham on Saturday.