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Scholes backs Mata to shine after Van Persie injury


Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Juan Mata has the ideal chance to step up and make an impact in the absence of striker Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman was stretchered off in the dying moments of United's 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos in midweek and Mata subsequently played in his preferred central position — instead of out wide — during the weekend victory over West Ham.

And Scholes has backed the big-money signing to come good over the next few weeks.


When asked who could step up in Van Persie's absence, Scholes told Goal: “I think as a collective, a group of players, you have to contribute to scoring goals. Although Robin went a long way to help us win the league last year. But you still need players around him to create chances.

“We still have plenty of goals in the team with Wayne Rooney and I think now is a great chance for Juan Mata to play in his favored position.”

Scholes also praised strikers Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, believing both can step up and contribute, and hopes they boast the firepower needed to overcome Bayern Munich.

“Danny Welbeck is looking strong after an injury, he’s come up in the last couple of games, he’s got goals in him as well,” he added.

“We've got people on the bench like Chicharito, who is capable to come on and score goals. The truth is there’s plenty of goals in the team and hopefully there’s enough to get us through the Champions League games [against Bayern Munich] and have a good finish to the season.”

It was reported by Goal UK on Sunday that David Moyes plans to bolster his backroom staff with the addition of the ex-England star in the near future, and Scholes says he would be open to moving into coaching.

“If anything comes along, I’m in no rush to get back, I won't touch something that doesn’t interest me,” he said. “I’ve had a little bit of experience with the youth team at United, the Under-19s and in the Champions League which was good. I really enjoyed it.”

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