Last Updated: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 10:59
Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United are not a one-man team after his side made hard work of the FA Cup replay with West Ham.
Even the laboured display against West Ham fuelled a feeling Robin van Persie is a player United cannot afford to be without if they are to realise their silverware ambitions this term given the striker was granted a rare rest.
With 21 goals to his name already - and 10 in his past 10 appearances, the 29-year-old has made a phenomenal start to life at Old Trafford following his £24million move from Arsenal.
The Dutchman has earned warm praise from his new boss, who is not just delighted by the contribution Van Persie has made on the field, but also the example he has set with his professionalism off it.
However, Ferguson is anxious not to increase the belief that without Van Persie, United are a shadow of themselves.
"I don't go along with the idea we have become a one-man team," Ferguson told United Review.
"There was a time in our history when one man did carry us for a while. Eric Cantona kept us in contention with his goals when a few others were off the boil.
"But things are quite different now.
"Javier Hernandez has weighed in with 12 goals while Wayne Rooney is currently on nine.
"Two defenders, Johnny Evans and Patrice Evra, have chipped in with eight between them so it doesn't stand up to see us as a one-man band overly dependent on Van Persie, brilliant as he has been at both making and taking goals."
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