Seoul: Dimitar Berbatov has vowed to score more goals this season with added responsibility on his shoulders after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez from Old Trafford.
The Bulgarian international also knows that with Sir Alex Ferguson drafting in Michael Owen he needs to deliver if he is to cement a first team place alongside Wayne Rooney.
"I think I can do better (than I did last season)," he said on their pre-season tour of Asia, with a game against FC Seoul here on Friday his next chance to impress.
While Berbatov was credited with being one of the team's most creative players last season he was also criticised for not scoring as many goals as a 30 million pound (49 million dollars) striker should. He bagged 14 in 43 appearances.
He also infuriated some fans with lacklustre performances and a perceived lack of fight when the team was struggling.
With the jury is still out after his underwhelming first season, Berbatov said he was determined to prove his doubters wrong.
"I think I can do more. That's why I?m happy to be here on the pre-season tour," he said.
"It?s always beneficial to start well and have a good pre-season, and I feel I?m training well at the moment.”
"I'm here to score goals and I hope to score more and more for United this season."
His biggest threat to a regular place in the starting 11 is Owen, signed on a free transfer from Newcastle earlier this month.
It appears to have been a shrewd piece of business by Ferguson with the former England striker scoring two goals in his first two games.
Ferguson has handed him United's legendary number seven shirt, worn by greats like Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Ronaldo, and the experienced Owen said he could handle the responsibility.
"I was quite shocked when the manager asked me to wear it, but obviously very honoured," he told the club website.
"You only have to look at the last half a dozen players to have worn the shirt ... there are some fantastic players and I'll obviously do my best to continue that tradition, score a few goals and to do the shirt proud.”
"I know it means a lot to the fans. That’s what the manager said to me straight away. He said I?d need broad shoulders to wear it and I told him that was fine, that I could handle that responsibility.”
"I don't feel it will add extra pressure -- I think I?m old enough and wise enough not to let it get to me. I’m really proud to have it and hopefully I?ll do well in it."
First Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 15:33