MANCHESTER UNITED manager Alex Ferguson intends to give Javier Hernandez a proper rest this summer after the Mexican’s incredible efforts for the club this season.
Hernandez is once again expected to lead the United attack at Blackburn today, when a point will be enough for the Red Devils to claim a record 19th league title with a game to spare.
The 22-year-old has been a major influence over the past couple of months and took his tally to 20 for the season with his 36-second opener against Chelsea last week.
However, by the time Hernandez has fulfilled his commitments for United and then appeared for his country at the Gold Cup in June, Ferguson accepts his striker will need a break.
So, rather than pushing him straight on a pre-season tour of the United States, as he had planned, it seems Hernandez can expect to be excused from duty.
“Once he plays in the Gold Cup, Javier will be given a proper rest and we will take it up from there,” said Ferguson.
“His performances in training and in games suggests there is no tiredness at all, but we will keep monitoring that.
“If we get the result tomorrow he will get the rest. If we don’t then he will play next Sunday.”
That was the first indication that Ferguson is intending to stand players down for the final Barclays Premier League game against Blackpool at Old Trafford on May 22 if the title is won today.
There must also be an outside chance the United boss himself might end up playing a peripheral part against the Seasiders after being charged once again with improper conduct by the FA over comments made about referee Howard Webb.
Rather than attacking the World Cup final official, Ferguson was complimentary, insisting Webb was the best man to take charge of last week’s crunch clash between United and Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Ferguson’s problem was the fact he should not have mentioned Webb at all prior to the game.
Ferguson has until 4pm on May 16 to respond and although it does seem a fine is the worst he can expect, having only just served a five-match touchline ban for his inflammatory assessment of Martin Atkinson’s performance at Stamford Bridge on March 1, nothing can be taken for granted.
Ferguson should be a champion for the 12th time when that issue is resolved though.
Barring a complete disaster, the meeting with Blackpool will be followed by a trophy presentation that will confirm Liverpool have been “knocked off their perch” — as Ferguson promised to do when he took charge at Old Trafford in 1986.
Tradition dictates the presentation takes place on a club’s home ground, whenever possible, and that would have been the case this time, even if the FA Cup final had not been starting within minutes of United finishing their game at Ewood Park.
It is hardly an ideal scenario for anyone, although Ferguson blames television rather than the Premier League.
“I am not sure what the mechanics would have been if the FA Cup final wasn’t on,” said Ferguson. “But because of the European final two weeks later the FA Cup has been brought forward.
“The scheduling is down to TV. It is nothing to do with the Premier League.”
Ferguson does intend to give goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar a rest after an arduous couple of months, whilst he is also likely to introduce Scotland skipper Darren Fletcher from the bench at some stage.
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