Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has promised record signing Dimitar Berbatov he will get games this season despite being left on the bench for last night's 1-1 draw with Benfica.

Berbatov has made just one appearance this season, coming on as a second-half substitute in United's opening Premier League match at West Brom.

"It is hard because of the number of strikers we have," Ferguson said.

Wednesday's Champions League encounter at the Stadium of Light seemed like the perfect opportunity for Berbatov to return, especially as Anders Lindegaard, Antonio Valencia and Darren Fletcher all made their first appearances of the season.

Instead, the £30.75million Bulgarian, who shared the Golden Boot prize with Carlos Tevez last season, remained where he was as Ferguson went with Wayne Rooney as a lone striker before introducing Javier Hernandez later on.

Ferguson added: "Michael Owen is there, Federico Macheda, Mame Biram Diouf. Danny Welbeck won't be back next week but probably the week after.

"It is not easy. Dimitar has been training terrific. His attitude is spot on.

"He will get his game time as the season wears on. There is no question about that."

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