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Rio Ferdinand has paid tribute to his Manchester United defensive colleague Wes Brown, describing his performances this season as fantastic.

United have not always had their first choice back four available, with the likes of Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic suffering lay-offs throughout the campaign. However, one constant for the Red Devils has been the form of supposed understudy Wes Brown.

At the start of the season, Brown was expected to deputise for absent colleagues but has surpassed that modest expectation. This season he has formed the nucleus of United's defence, providing steel and taking responsibility. This has not gone unnoticed by Ferdinand.

In the absence of Vidic recently, Ferdinand has been under no extra pressure thanks in no small part to the capabilities of Brown.
He revealed:“Wes has been doing it all season and you expect big performances from him. Gary Neville is fit now but he's still managed to keep his place - and that speaks volumes for the way Wes has been playing. The manager has great confidence in him, he's a fantastic professional and I always feel comfortable playing alongside him.â€

"Nemanja Vidic has been a top player for us over the last two years, and for him to be out of such important games might have been a problem. But it's not when someone like Wes can step in so seamlessly. He's been great.â€

Peter Staunton
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