Moyes urges Nani to show off talent
Manager David Moyes is happy to massage Nani's ego if it makes the Manchester United winger more consistent.
It has been a rather strange few months for the Portugal star.
For the latter half of last season, it appeared certain Nani would be on the move as agreement over a new United contract looked impossible.
Amazingly, once the transfer window closed and Nani was still at Old Trafford, he quickly signed a five-year extension.
That raised a few eyebrows and the fact he had made only six appearances prior to Wednesday's Champions League rout of Bayer Leverkusen has done little to settle the debate over Nani's future.
However, the 27-year-old was an integral presence in Germany as United romped to their biggest European away win since the Matt Busby era, and ahead of Sunday's trip to Tottenham, Moyes is wanting to see those same skills on show more often.
"Nani is a talented player," Moyes told www.manutd.com.
"We are trying to give him the feeling that he is important. It's something he needs - to get back to that consistency which gives him the reason to say: 'I'm the man. I can do that job regularly'."
Moyes certainly feels Nani has all the attributes needed to have a major influence on his reshaped Red Devils outfit.
"He works hard enough at his game," said the Scot.
"He is happy to do all the leg work and his shooting with both feet is almost as good as anybody I've ever seen.
"He's incredibly talented and there is a chance he can improve. We want to give him the opportunity.
"You have to accept skilful players are going to be a bit indifferent.
"They are keen on showing you what they have got and, when it doesn't come off or work, it looks bad. That's the balance you have got to get right."
Nani himself is not worried about the number of times he has been overlooked.
All he wants to do is make an impact in the games that lie ahead.
"The important thing is what I am doing at the moment, not the past," said Nani.
"I didn't play in a couple of games but I just want to focus on the future.
"I am happy with what I am doing on the training ground. I want to continue to work hard and I am ready to play in the games and help the team fight for trophies."
Nani's confidence has been given a boost by his late goal, bizarrely his first in Europe for over three years.
"It is always good when you score," he said.
"It gives you your confidence back."
David Moyes does have a few selection headaches though, which will only be made more difficult should skipper Nemanja Vidic and last season's Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie be available after concussion and groin problems respectively.
For in order to restore Van Persie to his starting line-up, it would mean, at best, a change of role for Shinji Kagawa, who revelled in the slot behind main striker Wayne Rooney, the position he filled at Borussia Dortmund and produced such impressive performances in before he got his move to United.
Vidic, meanwhile, could oust Rio Ferdinand or Jonny Evans.