"He's got qualities like Bruce," said the manager. "Brucey would stick his head in and ask the question of the opponent. 'Do you want hurt? I'm going to put my head in there. If you want to get the ball, you're going to have to put your head in front of mine'. Of course he'd lost his looks long ago. He's like Bernard Cribbins now! The hair's going white."
If Bruce and Gary Pallister remain the benchmark for United central defensive pairings, the manager thinks the Serb and Rio Ferdinand can reach for it.
"I'm pleased how they've developed. It's a good partnership. They've got pace, they've got strength and there's a good balance between then," Ferguson told the Sunday Times. "I expect more authority this season from Vida. He's been with us a year and a half and this is his third season. He came in the middle of one season and it took him time to adjust, but I'm excited about him. With Rio [29 in November] I can rely on his experience."