Valencia welcomes Scholes return
Red Devils winger believes returning hero has a key role to play
Last Updated: January 16, 2012 5:04pm
Antonio Valencia has welcomed Manchester United's decision to lure Paul Scholes out of retirement, with the veteran midfielder plugging an important gap.
The Red Devils were forced to take drastic action after finding themselves short on options.
With the likes of Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley sidelined through injury, Sir Alex Ferguson found himself lacking in midfield options.
He was also being forced to fend off criticism of a lack of creativity in his side, with calls for a playmaker to be snapped up during the winter transfer window growing ever louder.
Such talk has died down, though, following the decision to re-register Scholes following his decision to hang up his boots last summer.
The 37-year-old needed little convincing in truth and has slipped seamlessly back into the fold, with the opening goal in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Bolton proving that he has lost none of his footballing instinct.
Valencia is among those to have championed the club's decision to bring Scholes back, with the United winger confident that the former England international can play a leading role in a keenly-contested Premier League title race.
"We still have some longer absences like Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley so it has given us a bit of respite to have Paul Scholes back," he told MUTV.
"It is all right talking about three teams but you can't take out Arsenal and Chelsea, so that is why we have to put our foot to the floor and push as hard as we can."
Valencia has been forced to provide cover during an injury crisis himself this season, with the Ecuador international pushed back into defence earlier in the campaign.
He is pleased to have been returned to his more natural position on the right flank in recent weeks and hopes United can steer clear of further injury troubles this term.
"It is really pleasing thinking that we are getting everyone back to full fitness," he said.
"It is nice to be back in my favoured position, that I have always played in throughout my career.
"At full-back, going forward is not a problem. Defending is slightly more difficult.
"There is more pressure because you are playing closer to your own goal. You have to be really focused and concentrated to make sure you don't commit an error that can lead to a goal.
"It is the same for any defender so I have to work hard to stay really sharp because that is area of the field where you get punished."