Sir Alex Ferguson has laid down a marker for his top two strikers by insisting if they can both score over 20 goals each it will ensure Manchester United will be fighting for silverware in every competition.
After a faltering start to the campaign, United are starting to build some momentum and are three points clear at the top of the Premier League table from 15 games played. They are also safely through to the Champions League knockout stages as Group H winners.
With United in good shape, Ferguson has urged his two leading strikers, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, to reach the 20-goal milestone for the season, and should they do that, he is convinced the team will be in contention for all trophies.
Van Persie has started the season in stunning form with 10 goals in 13 games, while Javier Hernandez has taken to his role as ‘super-sub’ impressively with five goals from 10 appearances, seven of which have been as a substitute.
Rooney is yet to go on a goal-scoring run but Ferguson is sure that it will be a matter of time before the England forward enjoys a purple patch.
“I always say this, if you can get two or three goal scorers with over 20 goals, you are definitely in business and you should be challenging for everything,” Ferguson told ESPN.
“At the moment I think Wayne Rooney is still to find his goal-scoring form.
“He missed the start of the season with his fitness which was not great, then he had tonsillitis and missed a couple of games.
“When we get through December we will find that Wayne will weigh in with a few goals.”
Ferguson also took the opportunity to lavish more praise on van Persie, who has been one of United’s stand-out performers this season.
“When Robin came he hadn’t played any games so the fitness situation wasn’t ideal, but he weighed in with goals and that was a real bonus for us and he is getting better and better all the time,” Ferguson continued.
“He has a fantastic football brain, that is the one thing that we knew when we were going for him that here is a mature player with a great football brain.
“Strikers are rare birds because they only think about goal scoring as their main aspect of life,” he added.
“If they are not scoring then they think they are playing terrible, and when they are scoring they are the kings of the castle, its two ends of the spectrum with them. I was a striker myself and I was exactly the same.”