Rio Ferdinand joins plaudits of 'phenomenal' Javier Hernandez

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The Independent Online

Rio Ferdinand has tipped Javier Hernandez to have a brilliant career with Manchester United.

Whilst Ferdinand is basking in the afterglow of his fifth Premier League title, Hernandez has been celebrating his first.

The Mexican has hardly made an insignificant contribution either, scoring 20 goals in all competitions, a return even Sir Alex Ferguson did not expect in Hernandez's debut season.

But Ferdinand is convinced there is more to come from the 22-year-old, who is expected to start the Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley on May 28.

"Javier has been phenomenal," said Ferdinand.

"It is not just his goals, but his movement, his all-round work ethic, his desire to be in the right positions and work hard.

"He is going to have a fantastic career, He has the mentality and the attitude for it."

It appears Ferguson will not go into the game with a row rumbling about his positive remarks in favour of Howard Webb ahead of United's crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea last week.

The Football Association took the unusual step of refusing to confirm whether Ferguson had accepted or denied their improper conduct charge when the deadline passed yesterday afternoon.

Instead, they merely confirmed a response had been received.

"We have received correspondence from Manchester United with respect of the improper conduct charge issued to Sir Alex Ferguson on May 13," said an FA statement.

"The matter will be dealt with by the disciplinary committee in due course."

It has previously been suggested Ferguson would expect to be handed a fine at worst for his latest misdemeanour, which even old rival Arsene Wenger admitted was rather harsh.

"He is entitled to have that opinion," said Wenger. "To me, it doesn't look to be a major problem to say that somebody is good.

"I would not charge him for that."

Having given Ferguson a five-match touchline ban for comments made about Martin Atkinson at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, the FA are aware they appear to be singling the United boss out at present.

However, they made it clear in a letter to all managers that was issued in October any pre-match comments, whether positive or negative, would be interpreted as an attempt to influence an official and deemed in contravention of Rule E3.

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