"One big family" is how Javier Hernández describes life at Manchester United FC ahead of the visit of Valencia CF, against whom he scored his first competitive United goal on Matchday 2.
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Javier Hernández says a mixture of the "support of the club, hard work and self-belief" has helped him to find his feet at Manchester United FC. The Mexico striker was speaking ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League encounter with Valencia CF, who visit Old Trafford with top spot in Group C still up for grabs.
Hernández, a summer signing from CD Guadalajara, struck his first competitive goal for United to earn a 1-0 win when the two sides met at Mestalla on Matchday 2 and he has since found the net four times in the Premier League. "Despite the pressure, I've settled well thanks to the help of everybody in the club – the team, all the staff and the coaches," said the 22-year-old.
"It's like one big family. They encourage you and help you grow as a man and as a player. To score a goal like that against a top side in the Spanish league was very nice for me and the team as a whole. You really enjoy scoring winning goals because getting the three points is what matters," he added of his 85th-minute strike at Valencia.
Likely to have to bide his time following the return to form of fellow forwards Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney, Hernández underlined his determination to perform whenever called upon. "I'm happy when my team-mates are doing well because I can learn from them and that's what I'm here to do. However much the manager decides to use me, I'll always be ready, whether it's just for five minutes at the end or for a full game."
He has already drawn praise from his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who said the Mexican "reminds me of Denis Law and Ian St John with his ability to hang in the air. Just staying in the air for that fraction longer can upset defenders." Sir Alex also had words for another of his strikers, namely Berbatov, who hogged the limelight in United's last Premier League outing, scoring five goals in the 7-1 rout of Blackburn Rovers FC.
"We finally showed our full capability against Blackburn," added Sir Alex, whose team were not in action at the weekend after their match against Blackpool FC was postponed due to a frozen pitch. "Dimitar hadn't scored for ten games and, as I often say, strikers live on goals. When they're not scoring they can wonder when the next one's going to come."
If United's strikers have found their range, it is their defenders who have got them this far in the UEFA Champions League. They have still to concede a goal after 450 minutes' play in the group stage but Valencia veteran David Albelda sounded undaunted as he said: "Manchester have done well throughout the group campaign, but I think that records are there to be broken.
"I think at Mestalla we played better but quality teams like Manchester don’t need many chances to win a game. We're coming here to try and win because we realise the importance of qualifying in first place in this competition."