Nani makes a case to Ferguson
Updated: Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013 10:10
Nani has given Alex Ferguson food for thought after firing Manchester United to the latest victory of their Treble quest.
A peripheral figure for much of the season, the Portugal winger looks certain to leave Old Trafford in the summer and on Friday was involved in a collision with an unmarked police car, adding yet another twist to a disappointing campaign in which he has started just 10 times.
But he turned on the style to help down Reading in the FA Cup tonight, with a goal and an assist earning United a 2-1 win and a quarter-final showdown with either Chelsea or Middlesbrough.
The winger, on as a substitute for the injured Phil Jones, in the process provided Ferguson with another selection option for the mouthwatering duel with Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5.
"He's got great talent, we know that," said Ferguson.
"I had a feeling he would win the game for us. You could see he was right on form the moment he came on. He had two great strikes immediately and was a threat to them the whole night. It's a good addition. If he keeps that form it makes my job more difficult now."
Nani, though, knows his future is under a cloud.
However, after a season disrupted by injury, he is just glad to be playing again.
"I have been injured for a long time and it is always difficult when you come back, but I've worked very hard and part of what I did on the pitch was because of that," said Nani. I will continue to work very hard to do my best."
"If he keeps that form it makes my job more difficult now." - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson
Nani opened the scoring deep in the second-half, with Javier Hernandez adding another shortly afterwards.
Jobi McAnuff did give Reading some hope late on, but it was not enough. Despite victory the departure of Jones on crutches was a clear worry given the job he did subduing Real in the Bernabeu last Wednesday.
"We'll have to assess (him)," said Ferguson.
"Obviously I would not imagine he will be ready for Saturday anyway. But we'll see what he's like after that."
Royals boss Brian McDermott was full of praise for his team and feels the experience will be decent preparation for a return visit in the Premier League later this season.
Before that, they have the small matter of a relegation scrap with Wigan at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
"It is the first time I have managed here and it was good for me personally and my players to come here," he said.
"We have to come back here in the league and will know a bit more about what to expect. We really wanted to put on a performance for our fans and we have done