Croatia vs Mexico: Javier Hernandez focused on helping Mexicans battle past Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and his rampant Netherlands side

Striker appears to be heading for the Old Trafford exit but will come up against his manager as well as his team-mate Robin van Persie on Sunday

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The Independent Football

If he has not already got one foot out the Old Trafford door, Javier Hernandez has been given a great opportunity to impress the new Manchester United manager this Sunday.

Hernandez scored Mexico's third in last night's (MON) 3-1 victory over Croatia, which has set up an intriguing second round encounter with the Netherlands and their outgoing coach Louis Van Gaal.

The Dutchman will take over at United once his side's involvement in the World Cup is at an end but there is speculation that Hernandez, who started only six Premier League games last season, is to leave in search of regular first team football.

His international coach Miguel Herrera even suggested this World Cup will provide the 26-year-old, known as "Chicarito", with the perfect opportunity to secure a move.


Hernandez was unwilling to acknowledge that his club and international careers would intersect this Sunday in Fortaleza.

"The thing is [Van Gaal] is the manager for the Netherlands and I am a player for Mexico, there is nothing else," said Hernandez, who was full of praise for Netherlands' striker Robin Van Persie, whose arrival at Old Trafford two years ago saw the Mexican slip down the United pecking order.

"We spent two very good years together and won one league together. He's a great team-mate and I am learning a lot from him and it will be nice to see him," he said.

Marquez helps Mexico charge into knockout stage

Mexico captain Rafael Marquez headed his side in front in the 73rd minute, making it three consecutive World Cups in which the former Barcelona man has scored.

"He is a great character," said Hernandez. "He is the captain here and supporting us in the best way possible — inside and outside the pitch."

For Croatia playmaker Luka Modric, after 2006, it was another World Cup exit at the group stage.

"Mexico were the better team, only tonight," said the former Tottenham midfielder. "Especially after the first goal, we could not recover from that and Mexico were the only team on the pitch."