Mick McCarthy wary of United striker

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has insisted Javier Hernandez can be Manchester United's saviour in the absence of Wayne Rooney.

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Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has insisted Javier Hernandez can be Manchester United's saviour in the absence of Wayne Rooney.

England superstar Rooney remains out for Wolves' trip to Old Trafford on Saturday as one of several casualties including Nani, Darren Fletcher and Anderson.

But those absences will not seriously weaken United's super-strong squad and Wolves have already found to their cost the damage Hernandez can cause, after the Mexican's superb injury-time strike put McCarthy's side out of the Carling Cup last week.

He said: "We played ever so well against them and perhaps could have been in front with the chances we had - then they put Javier Hernandez on and he scored a goal of real quality.

"They might have had a few rumblings with Wayne Rooney, but to have Hernandez around scoring goals like that doesn't half take the pressure off.

"He's a fantastic player and, while you always want to stop goals going in, at the end of it was a fabulous finish."

McCarthy feels Hernandez's emergence and the swift end to the Rooney's contract saga that briefly rocked Old Trafford is now over and that United fans will forgive and forget as soon as the striker hits form again.

The Wolves boss said: "I don't think it affects them really and he's signed a new deal hasn't he?

"There were a couple of days of rumblings and then he signed a new contract.

"He'll come back and the first time he scores in front of the Stretford End it will be 'Rooney, Rooney, Rooney!'

"They'll all forgive and forget because he'll get back playing for them."

United are unbeaten this season in 17 games in all competitions and yet trail champions Chelsea by five points.

But McCarthy believes they can quickly make that up.

He said: "Calling United one of the superpowers is an understatement. I think Alex would say himself that it's after Christmas when it all really starts.

"They have the ability to win seven or eight in a row and suddenly it all completely changes.

"A couple at the top might draw two or three and United win five or six and it all 'concertinas' up.

"They have certainly got the ability to do it."

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