Fergie talks up Rossi
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Giuseppe Rossi is the best finisher to come through the Manchester United ranks since Paul Scholes.
The Italian teenager, who joined United's youth system from Parma, is rated highly by Ferguson and has broken into the first team squad this season.
After a prolific spell with the reserves, Rossi has already scored twice for The Red Devils and only made his first start in the midweek Carling Cup clash with Barnet.
Ferguson has been enthused by Rossi's progress and has compared the 18-year-old's finishing ability to that of former England international Scholes.
"If you ask me who was the last striker with Rossi's potential to come through the ranks here, then I would definitely say Scholesy," said Ferguson.
"They are different types of players but similar in ability. We have got great hopes for Rossi. He has shown, in his training performances in particular, a fantastic ability."
Rossi's only dilemma is breaking up the partnership between Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney but Ferguson does not expect it to be a long-term issue.
He added: "His problem at the moment is that he has two formidable players in front of him in Rooney and van Nistelrooy. Louis Saha will also be back soon.
"But I don't think that's going to be a long-term problem for the boy.
"Players with great ability usually rise and get to where they deserve to be with their ability and application. So he will figure in teams before long."
Meanwhile, Ferguson has challenged his players to win their next two games - against Middlesbrough and Lille - ahead of next weekend's clash with leaders Chelsea.
"We need to win both those games before we face Chelsea - that will make the game even bigger," continued Ferguson.
"From our point of view we want to make sure we go into the game with confidence.
"Psychology does not come into it. It is just a case of two good teams facing each other. All teams have blips.
"The most important thing for us is to make sure we win our next two games and look at the Chelsea clash and say 'We're ready for them, let's get at them'. And I think we'll be ready."