Saturday, January 8, 2011

Berba’s the Dim reaper for Roy

DIMITAR BERBATOV has already stuck a knife into Roy Hodgson - and now he's ready to do it again.

Assuming Hodgson leads his Kop flops out at Old Trafford tomorrow, the man who stung Liverpool with a sensational hat-trick in September is lying in wait to kill him off.
Berba's treble in Manchester United's 3-2 Premier League triumph started the rot at Anfield. And the Bulgarian is in no mood to let Hodgson off the hook now.
He insisted: "I am pre-occupied with Manchester United, not the situation of the rival coach.
"If I play I shall be trying to score again - as always. Liverpool are not enjoying a very good time but FA Cup matches are very different and often more open.
"We are fortunate to be at home, which does give us an advantage, but we shall have to work hard from the very first minute to defeat them."
How Liverpool fans remember the stunning overhead kick that brought Berbatov his second goal against the Reds last time.
He coolly took a Nani cross on his thigh and found the top corner with an acrobatic effort.
That display launched Hodgson into a downward spiral as three days later a shaken Liverpool lost to League Two Northampton at Anfield in the Carling Cup.
Tomorrow's game marks the start of an FA Cup trail that Berbatov, 29, hopes will end with him collecting his one missing domestic medal.
Add a Champions League gong to the Premier League title and two League Cup wins and you would imagine the 15-goal striker is doing very nicely, thank you.
But the man repeatedly labelled 'lazy' and 'casual' now has Wembley in May in his sights.
Berba added: "My challenge is to complete the full list of titles in England - so I want the FA Cup. Few footballers have won four titles in England and I want to join that list.
"So far with United my best memories are my debut at Old Trafford, the hat-trick against Liverpool and the five goals against Blackburn. I have kept and treasure those matchballs.
"I love playing in the biggest games in English football. At Tottenham, I enjoyed the North London derby with Arsenal and this will be a classic North-West occasion against Liverpool.
"All I can say is the atmosphere in the grounds for these games is different and that savouring victory is just great."
Berbatov has not been everyone's cup of tea since his £30.75million move from Spurs in 2008. But after an indifferent beginning to his Old Trafford career, he thanks Alex Ferguson for his unswerving support.
The striker said: "When I arrived at United it was hard to get into the first XI because of the quality of our squad - but I waited for my moment. In this respect the manager demanded that I stay calm and concentrated to avoid all the pressure.
"I was never worried by all the rumours about my possible exit from United. Whether I end my career here, I don't know. Maybe I will play again in Bulgaria.
"For now, my job is to score as many goals as possible for United. It's not an exact science and it can't happen every day but it's always my objective. This is what I do and I shall be trying just as hard against Liverpool.
"It's been excellent for me this season, I am very happy. I've not suffered injury problems and I'm playing with more confidence. It's sensational for a forward to be able to say that."
Wayne Rooney's injury woes mean his goal tally is down to just three this season but Mexican newcomer Javier Hernandez has nine in a bit-part role and Berbatov insists there is more to come from the youngster.
He said: "Javier is helping the team very much. He has adapted perfectly to English football and is scoring well.
"I believe he will be a big player for this club because he is intelligent and learns swiftly. The club is behind him to help integrate in all aspects of his life.
"We've all been helping him and are happy with his performances and goals.
"Wayne is a star. He always gives 100 per cent and this season he has made big sacrifices with his workload. Roo is demonstrating he's not just here for goals - for me, he is a perfect companion."
Rio Ferdinand also admits he is desperate to complete his medal collection with an FA Cup gong - along with Rooney.
The England skipper was serving his drug-test ban the last time United lifted the trophy in 2004.
Ferdinand, 32, said: "I still haven't won the FA Cup - and nor has Wayne. I was suspended the last time we won it and Wayne hadn't arrived. I need to win it but, at this stage of my career, I'll just take any more trophies."
Ferdinand has lost two FA Cup finals in 2005 and 2007 and he admitted: "They get thrown away, runners-up medals. I don't even keep them."

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