Defender Michael Turner insists Sunderland's solid defensive performance at Old Trafford last weekend was also down to their midfield.
The Black Cats narrowly missed out on a deserved victory last Saturday as Anton Ferdinand's injury time own goal salvaged a point for a lacklustre Manchester United.
Steve Bruce's men restricted free-scoring United to just five shots on target with a packed defence, only conceding to a fine Dimitar Berbatov volley and Ferdinand's unlucky deflection in a pulsating 2-2 draw.
With the defence taking the plaudits for the creditable point, centre-half Turner was reluctant to take full credit for the showing, highlighting midfield generals Lorik Cana and Lee Cattermole as key instigators.
"We defended very well on Saturday, but that's not all down to the back four," Turner told the Sunderland Echo.
"With people like Berbatov and Rooney around, you expect to be busy - but I expected United to cause more problems than they actually did.
"I think the whole team defended well, but the two central midfielders did a brilliant job shielding there in front of us."
Turner arrived at the Stadium of Light a day before the summer transfer window closed, while Cana and Cattermole had joined Bruce's regime earlier in the summer as a new-look Sunderland continue their impressive start to the season.
He added: "It's a great comfort as a defender to have two players like that in front of you because you know that no-one is going to get through cheaply.
"They cover a hell of a lot of ground for the side and both of them have been brilliant since I came to the club."