Few of us expected the boy from Guadalajara to have quite such an impact this season. Openers, equalisers and especially winners, scored with head, feet, heel and even face... Javier Hernandez lives to put the ball in the net.
He’s also shown a dedication to the cause, a humbleness and an understanding of what it means to play for United that has endeared him to Reds everywhere. We caught up with him to ask him how he was coping with the sharp end of his first title challenge as a United player…
The season is entering its crucial phase now – have you been involved in title chases before, while playing in Mexico?
In my first season with Chivas in 2006 we won the title. I didn’t play too many games but I scored a couple of goals and helped us win the trophy. We also won another domestic tournament in 2009 called the Interliga – the winners of that go into the Copa Libertadores.
What has that taught you about how to approach the busy and important end of the season?
Well, it’s given me a small amount of experience of these situations, but I have still talked to my team-mates here about what to expect in – and how to prepare for – this crucial part of the season. It’s all about staying calm, focusing on the task in hand and believing in what you are trying to achieve.
What advantage do United have over Chelsea and Arsenal in the title chase?
The only one is the fact that United is a big club with a great history in these battles. Several of the players have been here and done this before, while the newer players have a huge desire to succeed because we know about the history of Manchester United and it doesn’t include many painful defeats.
Do you look around the changing room and think, yes, these are the players who can win trophies this season?
Yes, when I look at my team-mates, and the quality of the players in the dressing room, I feel that we can win any trophy we compete for.
What do the senior players who have been here and done it before – Giggs, Scholes, Rio, Fletch etc – say to the newer and younger players about how to handle it and what is required?
They tell us that we need to play like Manchester United players, always remembering the club’s rich history and never giving less than 100 per cent on the field. Being a United player is about winning – you can never think about drawing