Sir Alex Ferguson praised Paul Scholes and hopes Nick Powell can fill his boots

Last Updated: 16/09/12 11:06am

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Sir Alex Ferguson praised Paul Scholes following a goal on his 700th appearance and also hopes Nick Powell can fill the Manchester United midfielder's boots.

Former England international Scholes reached the milestone against Wigan Athletic on Saturday and he opened the scoring in the 4-0 win.

Scholes was on hand to score from close range after Ali Al Habsi had pushed out Nani's cross before substitute Powell marked his United debut by scoring the fourth goal with a firm drive from 25 yards.

"Young Powell is a player that we hope that fills Scholes' boots in terms of he has terrific vision, a good temperament, great feet, he's quick and is a good striker of the ball."
Sir Alex Ferguson

"Paul over his career has always been fantastic at that," United boss Ferguson told Sky Sports about Scholes' goal.

"Remembering him as a central midfielder who could go in the box all the time, but obviously over the years we've used him more as a controlling central midfield player, and there is no one better at what he did today.

"Young Powell is a player that we hope that fills Scholes' boots in terms of he has terrific vision, a good temperament, great feet, he's quick and is a good striker of the ball.

"He scored a really good goal today and it's a good start. He's only 18 and is not 19 until next March, so I'm very pleased with him."

United's goals all arrived after half-time and Ferguson concedes it took his side time to recover from Javier Hernandez seeing an early penalty saved by Al Habsi.

Ferguson added: "We missed the penalty kick and from a position of getting a good start we were having to start all over again.

"I thought they were far too slow in the first half. They were slowing the game down and the goalkeeper was taking a minute over each kick, and it suits their style of play.

"They're a good team, very aggressive and I didn't think we played with the right pace.

"We didn't make the openings we'd expect to but in the second half we were far more aggressive ourselves in terms of getting to the ball, we had far more speed and that made a difference."

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