31/10/2008 16:03, Report by Gemma Thompson

Sir Alex's striker dilemma

Sir Alex Ferguson says he can handle the selection dilemma surrounding his strikers, but admits it is more difficult than the situation in 1999.

Back then, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were all vying for a place in the starting XI. The battle today is between Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez. Rooney was the odd one out for Wednesday's win over West Ham, but more often than not it has been Tevez warming the bench.

Sir Alex says all three are fully understanding of United's rotation policy and he maintains he will do his best to keep everyone happy.

"It is much more delicate handling the striking situation now [compared to 1999]," he said.

"Ole was part of that northern European culture which was easier to manage, while Teddy, Dwight and Coley all had the British mentality where they knew they wouldn’t play every game. Yes, they weren’t happy, but there was never an issue; they understood.

"I sat down with Wayne the other day and explained that I needed to find out how Berbatov and Tevez played together, and he understood that. But I don't think he'd like to be left out for two or three games! Nevertheless, I don't think it's unmanageable."

Sir Alex hinted that he may once again plump for the Berbatov/Tevez combination for the visit of Hull on Saturday, and he hopes to see the duo build on their midweek outing.

"I wanted to see how the combination of Berbatov and Tevez was together. But Carlos was so wound up to do well himself that they became two different parts," admitted the boss. "I think they'll be far better on Saturday - if I pick them."


Premier League