sport

Fergie: United no one-man team

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed claims that Manchester United have been overly dependent on the goals of Robin van Persie this season.

With 21 goals to his name already - and 10 in his past 10 appearances, Van Persie has made a phenomenal start to life at Old Trafford following his 24million move from Arsenal.

The Dutchman has earned warm praise from his new boss, who is not just delighted by the contribution Van Persie has made on the field, but also the example he has set with his professionalism off it.

However, Ferguson does not believe that United cannot cope without their star striker.

"I don't go along with the idea we have become a one-man team," Ferguson told United Review. "There was a time in our history when one man did carry us for a while. Eric Cantona kept us in contention with his goals when a few others were off the boil.

"But things are quite different now.

"Javier Hernandez has weighed in with 12 goals while Wayne Rooney is currently on nine.

"Two defenders, Johnny Evans and Patrice Evra, have chipped in with eight between them so it doesn't stand up to see us as a one-man band overly dependent on Van Persie, brilliant as he has been at both making and taking goals."

Yet Ferguson can hardly deny Roberto Mancini's claim that Van Persie is presently making the difference in this season's title battle.

"He is absolutely relishing his new challenge," he said.

"He is the right player, at the right club, at the right time.

"He has a winning mentality, but as he points out, it is one that goes right through the squad and one that will hopefully see us push on in both league and the cups and successfully navigate what is a busy and challenging period."