Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Javier Hernandez's rapid transition to English football has taken him by surprise.
Hernandez's 19th goal of the season provided Manchester United with an 84th-minute winner against Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon that puts them within touching distance of a record 19th league title.
The Mexican has already established himself as a regular member of Ferguson's first-choice starting line-up, and the Scot said: "Javier has done better than everyone expected. We thought that because it was his first year, he would just get used to the English game and get strengthened up. He has passed all those tests."
He added: "He is first in, at 9am every morning. He is last to leave. He is a truly dedicated boy."
Hernandez certainly has the priceless knack of scoring goals.
He has scored in six of United's last 12 games and in 16 matches overall this season, compared with Dimitar Berbatov, whose 22 have come in just 10 games.
The contribution pushed the Red Devils a bit closer to their Holy Grail as he headed home Antonio Valencia's cross to leave United seven points from the championship at the start of a fortnight that also includes a Champions League semi-final with Schalke and back-to-back Premier League encounters with Arsenal and Chelsea.
"The thing that puzzles me is they (the media) keep saying Arsenal and Chelsea have got to play us still, like we're going to lose them," added Ferguson. "Why shouldn't we win those games?
"As I said to the players, forget all that nonsense. Just try to win your games and you'll be all right, keep your heads and don't get carried away.
"Fixtures are running out for our rivals and the squad are up for it."
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