Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hails Ji-sung Park after Liverpool win

22 March 2010 11:46
Park arrived at Old Trafford for a relatively bargain £4 million in 2005 but until this season rarely looked like establishing himself as part of Ferguson's first-choice starting line-up.

Undoubtedly though, Park's Manchester United connection has brought the Old Trafford outfit huge commercial spin-offs, with a million club credit cards currently in use in South Korea and two hugely successful pre-season trips to Seoul helping to cement them in the country's affections.

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Even though he left Park out of his squad completely for the 2008 Champions League final, the United manager always felt the energetic midfielder - who first came to prominence with his performances in a Champions League semi-final against AC Milan for PSV Eindhoven in 2005 - had a major role to play for his team.

And now, in the systems that fits Wayne Rooney so well, Ferguson has found Park to be ideally suited as well.

"I didn't think that (Park was bought just to sell shirts).

"When I went to see him play in those Champions League semi-finals for PSV Eindhoven in 2005 I thought this is a player who understands football.

"He is intelligent and disciplined and he can play different positions. I had no issues about that at all.

"Someone is always going to take a runner on something like selling shirts. But you could say that about every player we have signed."

Anyone heading to the club Megastore for a Park shirt yesterday was not doing it because of his nationality.

After scoring important goals against Arsenal and Milan already this year, the 29-year-old added another to his tally yesterday, hurling himself at Darren Fletcher's curling cross to give United a vital victory over Liverpool.

"It was a great feeling to score against Liverpool," he said.

"Derby matches are very important games, so to score the winner in one is a fantastic feeling. Doing it in front of the Stretford End was unbelievable."

It was Park's 15th goal in 145 appearances for the Old Trafford outfit and given Chelsea failed to beat Blackburn at Ewood Park, gave his side priceless breathing space in the title race.

Given their goal difference advantage over second-placed Arsenal, United are aware six wins from their remaining seven games, plus a draw from the crunch encounter with Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 3, will be enough to give them an unprecedented fourth championship on the trot and a 19th overall, one more than Liverpool's long-standing record.

And Park is eager to help them.

"I want to score more goals for United and it doesn't matter who they are against," he said.

"I know I should score more goals. I feel good scoring against the big teams like Arsenal, Milan and Liverpool, but I want that experience more often."

Source: Telegraph