Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has leapt to the defence of Dimitar Berbatov in the wake of mounting criticism of the Bulgarian star.
The Bulgarian's £30.75million transfer fee has been the subject of considerable debate almost since the day he moved north from Tottenham last summer.
And the critics were out in force again on Sunday following Berbatov's woeful penalty miss in the FA Cup semi-final shoot-out defeat to Everton at Wembley.As one of United's more experienced players, a lot more was expected of Berbatov on Sunday, although afterwards he did look genuinely distraught at the defeat.
And Ferguson confirmed the 28-year-old was upset before defending his contribution to the Old Trafford cause.
"He will get criticism because when you pay £30million for a player everyone thinks he should be able to score with a penalty kick," said Ferguson."He was upset and disappointed, as we all were.
"But I don't see any evidence of Berbatov's season tailing off.
"He has missed a few games and overall, I thought he did really well."
While Ferguson's desire for victory could not be questioned after his rant at referee Mike Riley for failing to give a spot-kick when Danny Welbeck was brought down by Phil Jagielka in the second half, the Scot is not getting too down about the defeat.
After winning three successive shoot-outs, including last season's Champions League final, he knew a defeat was inevitable at some stage.
"Anyone can lose out a penalty kick shoot-out," he said.
"I cannot look upon it as a definition of the team's record. It is done, we just have to move on."