Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on Dimitar Berbatov's approach to pre-season training following the agony of missing out on a place in May's UEFA Champions League final. Many observers predicted Berbatov had played his last game for the club after being left out of United's squad for the match with Barcelona, with the Bulgarian refusing to watch the game from the stands as a result.
Ferguson said he would have sympathised with Berbatov had he sought a move during the close season -- but said the striker had shown a renewed determination during pre-season training. "What I have to say though is he (Berbatov) has been brilliant, first class," Ferguson told The Guardian. "His training has been terrific. Missing out on the final was not easy, but there were seven or eight players disappointed at not being involved in it."
Asked if he would understand if Berbatov had attempted to force a move, Ferguson replied: "Yes, I'd understand that. But you could say that about them all. I don't pick the same team every week, do I? I've only done that once in the last three years. Yes, players will be disappointed they are not playing some weeks. But at the end of the day, it will help [the team]. By the time we get to the end of May next season, we will have done well."
Ferguson said the decision to favour Javier Hernandez over Berbatov for the Wembley final had been a no-brainer. "It was straightforward, as far as I'm concerned. Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) hit such good form that you had to put him in for every game because he added so much in terms of threatening defenders all the time," he said. "It was just unfortunate for Berbatov. It didn't make him a bad player, he was just an unlucky player in that this lad came in and did so well. But he will be all right."