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Despite the Bulgarian being criticised during his Red Devils spell, the 71-year-old insists that he was pleased with the forward's contribution in his four years at Old Trafford

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has defended Dimitar Berbatov's performances for the club, insisting that the Bulgarian striker was in no way a "failure".

The Bulgarian is due to return to Old Trafford on Saturday for the first time since moving to Fulham over the summer for significantly less than the £30 million fee which brought him to Manchester.

But, whilst Sir Alex concedes that Berbatov is not an industrious player, he insists that the 31-year-old's goalscoring rate was impressive during his time at United.

"I don't think Dimitar was a failure here," the Scot told reporters. "Some people like to see players run through brick walls all the time. Dimitar is not that type of player but he is a very talented player and he had a decent goalscoring record here."

The Scot also expressed his belief that Berbatov was unlucky to be overtaken by Chicharito in the pecking order after the Mexican's "fantastic" debut season at the club.

"That was not a problem for him," the United boss continued. "The problem for him here was the way we wanted to play and the selections I had to make.

"When you have choices you hope to make the right one. Chicharito had a fantastic first season with us and as time went on he became a more regular player than Dimitar."

"The problem for him here was the way we wanted to play and the selections I had to make"

- Sir Alex Ferguson on Dimitar Berbatov

Ahead of the fourth-round meeting with Martin Jol's men, Sir Alex also underlined his ambition to win his sixth - and Manchester United's 12th - FA Cup.

"We all know at this club that we haven't done well in this tournament for a few years now," he admitted.

"It's a cup which has fantastic appeal, given our record in it. We have the benefit of a home draw, which I always say we would want."

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