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27 Oct 2010

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Javier Hernandez deserves the plaudits he received for his late winner in the Carling Cup fourth round.

Hernandez, who scored twice at Stoke on Sunday, stepped off the bench to give United a 3-2 victory at home to Wolves.

"They tend to build heroes quickly here but he's justifying the praise at the moment," said a delighted Ferguson.

"When he gets a chance you know he's going to take it. His touch, control of the ball and vision are all improving."

The 68-year-old Scot, who saw holders United reach the quarter-finals of the competition thanks to Hernandez scoring in the 90th minute, added: "He was absolutely brilliant - it was a magnificent goal. He's shaped to shoot, dummied the defender and finished really well.

"Javier is very professional, the first out on the training ground and the last one back in every day and he's rightly getting a lot of praise for his goalscoring."

United striker Michael Owen has been impressed by the Mexican but says it is too early to judge how important a player Hernandez can be for United.

"It's obviously early days for him but he's made a really good impression at the club," Owen told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He's quick, sharp and a good finisher. He's just moved to a new country but he's got a smile on his face and the fans have taken to him already.

"But as I know football changes in a week. He needs to keep working hard and putting in those performances. At Manchester United you need to be always on your game."

Ferguson changed all 11 players from the weekend, handing Portuguese striker Bebe his first start and giving chances to goalkeeper Ben Amos, defenders Fabio and Chris Smalling, midfielder Darron Gibson and forwards Gabriel Obertan and Federico Macheda.

It was Bebe who gave United the lead and George Elokobi who equalised, with Park Ji-Sung and Wolves' Kevin Foley exchanging goals before Hernandez popped up to win it.

Ferguson added: "Bebe did the right thing and attacked the defender. It was either going to be a good cross or a deflection into the net.

"It was a very open game in the second half, Wolves played very well and it was a really good cup tie."

In his programme notes before the game at Old Trafford, Ferguson said he wanted to draw a line under the Wayne Rooney affair following the saga last week during which the England striker announced he wanted to leave United before signing a new five-year contract.

"It's been a traumatic time for Manchester United and no doubt everyone is as relieved as I am that the situation with Wayne Rooney has been resolved," Ferguson stated.

"Once the news came out that Wayne wanted to leave, the publicity and impact that had and the response it generated, showed how big Manchester United is and that resonated with him quite a lot.

"Wayne apologised to me and the players and it's now time to draw a line under last week and face the challenges that lie ahead.

"We have a good squad, the unity and spirit is fine and the structure of the club is good. There is nothing wrong with United."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, meanwhile, was once again left to bemoan his side's inability to turn performances into results after a spirited second-half display.

"We've had our chances again and we're talking about missed opportunities again," he reflected. "We can only blame ourselves today.

"I thought we played very well in all aspects of the game, we were unlucky with their first two goals and then Hernandez proved what a great goalscorer he is.

"We had enough chances to win the game, we just couldn't get our noses in front. The performance gives us pleasure and pride but I'm like a broken record saying we played well and didn't get anything."


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