Fergie sets Ronaldo a goal challenge

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged Cristiano Ronaldo to repeat last season's remarkable feat of scoring more than 40 goals.

Ronaldo took his tally for the current campaign to five following his first half brace at Old Trafford to inspire United to a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham on Wednesday.

The Portugal winger struck on 14 and 29 minutes and now Ferguson is backing Ronaldo to continue finding the back of the net as United go in search of another trophy-filled season.

He scored 42 times last season to finish the campaign as the leading scorer in the Premier League and Ferguson sees no reason why he can't do the same again.

The United manager said: "Cristiano is getting there (back to his best) without question. He missed a lot of pre-season work but he's getting work now just with playing games and is improving all the time.

"He's got five for the season now and he can go on to get between 25 and 42. He's capable. He might even get 42 goals again. He's such a threat in the penalty box and I thought he took his goals very well."

Despite lavishing praise on Ronaldo and Dimitar Berbatov, Ferguson has re-assured Carlos Tevez that he still has a massive role to play with the European champions.

Tevez started his first game for a month in the win over the Hammers and there have been rumours the Argentinean international is becoming frustrated. But Ferguson has held private talks with the striker and told him he is still heavily in his plans.

Ferguson added: "Carlos remains just as important to us as the guys that have been hogging the headlines of late. I sat down with him only last week to stress to him that our faith in him is absolute, that he remains a top player in the eyes of myself, the players and the supporters.

"It's just that three players won't fit into two positions and my job is to balance the team. It could be done against certain opposition but it isn't the real solution and we are doing so well I don't want to meddle too much."