Javier Hernandez is confident his first competitive goal for Manchester United will provide just the confidence boost he needs.
The £7m Mexican came off the bench to score an 85th-minute winner for United in their UEFA Champions League tie at Valencia last night. It was only the Red Devils' second triumph in 19 attempts against Spanish opposition on Spanish soil and more importantly put them back on track for a place in the last 16 after a stuttering start to their campaign against Rangers a fortnight ago.
And for Hernandez, it was a goal to savour. "The goal will give me so much confidence," he said. "I am only at the start of my career with United and to score so early in the Champions League is a big boost.
"I always used to watch the Champions League when I was back home in Mexico. It is one of the most important tournaments in the world, so I was always keeping up with it. It is great to be a Manchester United player and I want that to continue for a long time."
Not surprisingly, Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted too, choosing quite an appropriate way to describe the art of scoring for a player nicknamed 'Little Pea'. "The way he took his chance, it was like shelling peas," said Ferguson. "It was so natural to him.
"Of course, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar (Berbatov) were the natural choices at the start of the season, which has meant Javier has not had a lot of football. But he is young and he is developing his game and doing good work in the gymnasium. He still has work to do in that aspect of his physique but you cannot take away from the fact that he is a fantastic finisher."
Hernandez's late effort settled a game of few chances. Although Valencia had plenty of possession, they were rarely able to break through the United rearguard and Edwin van der Sar made only one save of note. Much of that was due to the presence of Rio Ferdinand alongside skipper Nemanja Vidic for the first time this season. "Rio needed a game like that," said Ferguson.
"He has the experience, which was vital and the ability to keep the ball, which is important. His experienced helped us. There is no question about that. For his first real game in a long time we are very pleased with that."