Ferguson ignoring Utd's critics
Hernandez's form creates selection headache; praise for Smalling
Last Updated: January 5, 2011 10:57am
Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Manchester United are an 'easy target' for critics and has told his players to dismiss their doubters by winning the Premier League.
The Old Trafford club moved three points clear at the top of the table on Tuesday after a 2-1 home win over Tony Pulis' battling Stoke side.
Javier Hernandez opened the scoring with a deft flick before Dean Whitehead headed a shock equaliser shortly after half-time, but Nani hit a spectacular winner.
Pundits have suggested that the current United side are not a patch on Ferguson's teams of the past, however, the Scot is not paying any attention.
"We are an easy target for that kind of thing," he said.
"But we just have to dismiss it and concentrate on our ambitions and that is to win the league."
Ferguson rested Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney, who sustained an ankle injury last Saturday at West Brom, with an eye on the weekend's FA Cup meeting with Liverpool.
And the United boss admits that Hernandez's form could give him a selection headache.
"Of course it gives me a problem when Wayne is fit," said Ferguson.
"But that is the kind of problem you want. Over the years, the strikers I have had have always given me that problem.
"That is Chico's (Hernandez) job. And as long as he keeps putting the ball in the net, he is giving me those problems."
Ferguson also praised the performance of Chris Smalling as the former Fulham player made his first Premier League start for United.
He said: "Chris Smalling was excellent. At 20 years of age he is doing very well.
"I am pleased with his improvement. He is certainly the future of the club."