Berbatov determined to be a United hero after flopping in first season
22 July 2009 09:54
Dimitar Berbatov has told Manchester United fans they will see a big improvement in him next season.
Sir Alex Ferguson splashed out a club record £30.75million to lure the Bulgarian north from Tottenham last summer.
Although Berbatov was good in patches, finding the net on 14 occasions, largely his debut campaign for the Old Trafford outfit has been written off as a disappointment.
In fact, failing to make the starting line-up for the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in Rome led some to suggest Berbatov might be sold on, less than 12 months after his arrival.
Yet it seems Ferguson has certainly not lost faith in Berbatov's silky skills.
If anything, the 28-year-old is now an even more important figure for the Red Devils given Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez have left for pastures new.
It just increases the pressure a notch, not that the ultra laid-back Berbatov has ever given any indication of being affected by such trivialities.
'I think I can do better,' he told MUTV. 'I think I can do more.
'It is always beneficial to start well and have a good pre-season and I feel I am training well at the moment.
'I am here to score goals and I hope to score more and more for United this season.'
Berbatov has yet to open his account on an Asian tour that, after two matches against a Malaysian outfit, now sees United tackle FC Seoul on Friday in a game where Ji-sung Park will undoubtedly be the centre of attention.
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Given Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Federico Macheda have all found the target, Berbatov is playing catch-up in the personal scoring duels.
Yet, as Ryan Giggs knows only too well, for United life at the moment is about getting used to operating without the talents of Ronaldo and Tevez.
The departed duo were major inspirations behind United's Champions League-winning campaign two seasons ago.
And while Tevez ultimately left in bad-tempered fashion, annoyed at his lack of first-team opportunities, Ronaldo was also a key figure in a third straight Premier League title last term.
However, in his 18 years as a United regular, Giggs has seen countless stars come and go.
On each occasion, the Red Devils have responded in the perfect manner. And the Welsh veteran can see no reason why it should be any different this time round.
'Since I came into the team the likes of Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane and David Beckham have left the club,' he said. 'But that is what the manager is so good at - reshaping and re-energising the team.
'Carlos and Cristiano were great players but we move on. As players it's like ships in the night. You just get on with it.'