07/10/2012 09:00, Report by Adam Marshall
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Boss sets strikers target

Sir Alex Ferguson says the best is yet to come from his senior United strikers - and he's backing at least two of them to score 20 goals this term.

The Reds' leading goalscorer Robin van Persie is still playing catch-up after having little playing time during pre-season as his time at Arsenal was coming to an end. Wayne Rooney is still seeking his first goal after a month's lay-off with injury, and the manager is also keen to see Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck contribute plenty of strikes as United chase glory on all fronts again this term.

"What I’ve noticed about Robin is, in his first game, he was really short in terms of fitness and sharpness," explained Sir Alex. "Each training session, I see him actually getting better all the time. He’s doing a lot of work after training with the sports science people.

"Sometimes he’s asked for it as he knows he’s got make-up time because he missed pre-season training. I can see him getting sharper each game. I know I felt I needed four or five games in pre-season and most of the players have had that but he’s only had 20 minutes versus Hamburg for Arsenal. I think he's a good professional and looks after himself health-wise."

When asked whether van Persie and Rooney could be paired in attack, Sir Alex replied: "They could play up front. No doubt about that. I think one will always drop in. We don’t mind that. I think one will do that anyway.

"We have great options with that. Everyone apart from 'Chicha' can drop in or play up. I don’t agree that Wayne likes to face play. I think he played up on his own in 2009/2010 and scored 30-odd goals when playing up there on his own.

"If you go back to the season before last, Dimitar Berbatov and Chicharito took the load off Rooney in respect of the goalscoring.

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Premier League