Friday 6 December 2019

Owen: Hard work will bring Hernandez success

Javier Hernandez. Photo: Getty Images
Javier Hernandez. Photo: Getty Images

Michael Owen has warned Manchester United's new fans' hero Javier Hernandez that he cannot afford to rest on his laurels.

The 22-year-old Mexican has shouldered the goalscoring responsibility in the last two games to give United supporters something to cheer about after the trauma of last week's Wayne Rooney saga.

Hernandez, nicknamed 'Chicharito' which means 'Little Pea', scored twice at Stoke on Sunday and was hailed by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson after hitting an excellent winner in last night's 3-2 Carling Cup win over Wolves.

Owen, who has just suffered another injury setback with a hamstring problem that will keep him out of action for several weeks, said Hernandez should not take his success for granted.

Owen told BBC Radio Five: "It's obviously early days for him but he's made a really good impression at the club, scored goals in the last couple of games.

"He's young, sharp and a good finisher. He seems to be thriving, he's always got a smile on his face, he enjoys his football and the fans have taken to him already.

"So far so good, but, as I know, football changes in a week or whatever.

"Hopefully it's the start of something good for him, but he needs to keep working hard and keep putting in those performances because at Man United that's what it demands - you score one week, but if you play poorly the next week then you could be out the team so you need to always be on top of your game.

"Thankfully he's playing well at the minute, and long may that continue."

Ferguson signed Hernandez for £7m from Guadalajara before the World Cup - an astute move as he went on to score two goals - including a brilliant one against Argentina - and to generally impress.

He has already impressed Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, who thinks he is going to be star.

McCarthy said: "I watched him at Stoke on Sunday and forget his goals, his all-round performance was terrific.

"Sir Alex knows what he's doing and he wanted to get the winner against us so he brought him on and that's what he did."

Meanwhile, Owen insisted that the Rooney saga that caused such uncertainty over the striker's future had not affected United.

He added: "Everyone seems to be happy now. The club have got a world-class player signed for five years and obviously Wayne's happy and the manager's happy.

"Wayne is obviously ambitious and the club's ambitious. He wouldn't have signed if he had any doubts.

"Cutting out all the rubbish, the main thing is that he's signed.

"It's better having Wayne Rooney in your squad than not, so we're all happy in that way."

Owen also revealed that a hamstring tear is set to sideline him for a few more weeks.

He said: "I had a tight groin quite a while ago and then I trained for a week in preparing for last night's game, but had a setback in training with a different muscle injury, so unfortunately that ruled me out for last night and is going to rule me out for a few weeks as well."

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