Hernandez can be key to title race, says Fergie

Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester United's title rivals that revitalised Mexico striker Javier Hernandez will play a significant role in the battle for the Premier League.

While Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney hog most of the headlines and attention from opposition defenders, Hernandez has quietly gone about his business in clinical fashion this season.

The 24-year-old Mexican took his tally to 10 goals for the campaign with his last-minute winner in United's 4-3 win over Newcastle on Wednesday and Ferguson believes he has rediscovered the dynamic form that made him such a hit in his debut season after a disappointing effort last term.

With Rooney sidelined with a knee injury, Hernandez ensures defences can't just focus on shutting down van Persie and his strike against Newcastle allowed United to open up a seven-point lead over second placed Manchester City.

Ferguson, whose side will look to extend that advantage when they host West Bromwich Albion later Saturday, said: "He has been doing it all season.

"Every time Javier has played he has contributed. He has got 10 goals now and that is despite not playing every week. On Wednesday he could have scored four or five.

"Javier's effort and enthusiasm to play is absolutely fantastic. He is a great example to anybody who wants to be a footballer.

"He is exactly the same in training and gives 100 percent in every session."

Meanwhile, City's title defence was dealt a potentially decisive blow in a 1-0 loss at Sunderland on Wednesday, and Saturday's opponents, Norwich, have been beaten at home just twice all season.

The champions' odds of retaining their crown are lengthening by the week, but manager Roberto Mancini says he is not fazed by his side's seven-point deficit.

"It hasn't changed. At this moment, United are better than us, they are at the top, but we have time to recover," Mancini said.

"We need to resolve our problems before and after, maybe we can win. It's no problem, seven points.

"That's not important. We know United are a fantastic team and probably they will win every game, but the season is long and it is not important if it is six or seven or four points."

City's setback enabled Chelsea to close to within four points of second place by winning 1-0 at Norwich and Rafael Benitez's side -- 8-0 victors over Aston Villa in their previous game -- also have a game in hand.

On Sunday, last season's Champions League winners visit fifth-place Everton -- one of three teams in the table on 33 points, along with Tottenham Hotspur and West Brom.

Arsenal lost ground in the battle for a top-four finish, and Champions League qualification, after their Wednesday game with West Ham United was cancelled due to a strike on the London Underground transport network.

The Gunners have therefore benefited from an unexpected period of rest at a time when their rivals' resources have been stretched, but midfielder Jack Wilshere says his team-mates will have to switch on quickly when they return to action at home to Newcastle on Saturday.

"It's a tough game against Newcastle," he said.

"They need the points, they're not in a good run of form and they'll want to prove something, but we want to keep this momentum going."

Queens Park Rangers, who returned to the foot of the table after losing at home to West Brom, host Liverpool on Sunday, while second-bottom Reading tackle West Ham on Saturday and third-bottom Wigan Athletic are at Villa.

Fixtures (1500GMT unless otherwise stated)

Saturday:

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur (1245GMT), Fulham v Swansea City, Reading v West Ham United, Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic, Stoke City v Southampton, Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City v Manchester City, Arsenal v Newcastle United (1730GMT)

Sunday:

Everton v Chelsea (1330GMT), Queens Park Rangers v Liverpool (1600GMT)

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

  • Phl to seek more US military aid
    Phl to seek more US military aid

    The Philippines said yesterday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defenses, as it faces Chinese “aggressiveness” in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he was drafting a “wish list” for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for “equipment and training” when …

  • Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools
    Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools

    A bill in the Senate is seeking to require the planting of trees in parks, school grounds, vacant lots and other urban areas nationwide. Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said Bill No. 2566, the Greening Act of 2015, supports and complements the government’s National Greening Program to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of land from 2011 to 2016. “The Philippines was once known for its vast and lush forests,”he said. The Philippines was also named one of the world’s 10 most threatened …

  • ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’
    ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’

    There is no need to convene the National Security Council at the moment, despite China’s continued provocative activities in the West Philippine Sea. “At this time, the President does not see any need really to convene the NSC,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte yesterday told a news briefing, carried live by state-run PTV-4 and radio station dzRB. …

  • Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea
    Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea

    Fishing is the only livelihood available for Efren Montehermoso Jr. But after a huge Chinese ship drove away his small fishing boat near the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, he promised never to return to the area for fear of his life. Montehermoso of Barangay Cato in Infanta town was among the group of 80 Filipino fishermen driven away by Chinese coast guard on April 9. Montehermoso said they went to the disputed area not to fish but just to seek temporary …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options