Manchester United legend Norman Whiteside believes the key to winning a 19th title lies in the strike power of match winner Dimitar Berbatov.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Whiteside said that Berbatov has become a great asset for United over the last season, after making the move from Tottenham in 2008.
“Berbatov has done really well this season. He’s really come on from his first two years at United,” Whiteside said.
“A lot of people have had a go at him in the past, but I’ve always stood by him. He doesn’t look like a Rooney or a Carlos Tevez – they are both beavers, always chasing down every ball.
“Sometimes Berbatov doesn’t look like he’s as bothered, but his touch is great, his awareness is great and he’s come good and scored a lot of goals this season.”
Whiteside admitted to some confusion over Manchester Untied manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to leave Berbatov on the bench on many occasions, but the ex-midfielder ultimately trusts Ferguson’s tactics.
“I was doing TV in Norway recently and it was just after he’d scored five against Blackburn,” he said.
“I was saying what good form he was in, but then against Arsenal he was on the substitutes’ bench.
“You just don’t know what the manager will be thinking ahead of each game and sometimes he puts out teams that you wouldn’t expect. ”
Whiteside sees Wayne Rooney as coming into top form over the last few matches, and like Berbatov, it’s at a perfect time for Manchester United, with the Red Devils at the top of the Barclays Premier League table.
“Rooney had a slow start, but lately he’s started sticking the ball in the back of the net,” he said.
“His contribution has always been second to none with his all-round play – and he never stops running.
“The goals have started coming at just the right time. The big teams need their big players and he’s the biggest.”