Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said on Thursday he does intend to give Robin van Persie a break despite the striker’s recent struggles in front of goal.
Dutch international van Persie has scored 19 times in the Premier League this season which has helped United establish a 15-point lead at the top of the table.
However, van Persie has not found the net for United in his last nine matches which has led to questions about whether he is suffering from fatigue.
With Wayne Rooney having resumed training after a recent groin injury Ferguson could be tempted to rest van Persie for Monday’s match with Manchester City.
But the United manager dismissed any talk of tiredness and backed van Persie, 29, to rediscover his goalscoring form before the end of the campaign.
"He doesn’t need a rest that’s for sure. He’s a strong lad with a great physique and it’s a bit disappointing last week that the goal against Sunderland wasn’t awarded to him," Ferguson said.
"It took a wicked deflection, but his shot was fantastic and it was hit with great venom so no surprise it’s not going to take a deflection. His ability to manoeuvre in that position was excellent there’s no doubt about that.
The goals are there, they will come. All strikers go through dry spells and hope it ends quickly. That’s the same for Robin and it is part of being a striker.
When I played I had a spell at the start of the season once when I had a knee injury and I never scored until October, but still ended up with 30-odd goals. You have to get through that period and don’t lose your faith and belief in yourself.
My father used to say make sure you batter it in when you get near the goal, don’t tap it in and side-foot it. And I always give that advice to strikers. Make sure you hit it."
Ferguson confirmed England international Rooney was fit again and was among a number of players he hoped to have available for Manchester City’s visit to Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney and Rafael De Silva have started training which is good news and will hopefully be fine. Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic are not there yet but hopefully will be soon," Ferguson said.
"We have a bit of time on our hands to get most of the troops ready for the game."
The United manager also admitted he does not care if his United side do not get the plaudits and credit for the manner in which they are expected to win the title this season.
United look set to canter over the finish line and wrap up the title well before their last game of the season against West Bromwich Albion.
It will mean a relatively low-key ending to the campaign which will be in stark contrast to the thrilling climax last season when City secured it on goal difference thanks to Sergio Aguero’s dramatic injury-time winner against QPR.
"I don’t think it matters. We have only got eight games left so it doesn’t bother me too much," added Ferguson.
"We still have got to win it. We still have games to win the title. At this moment here’s eight games and 24 points to play for. I think that the way we have approached it is the correct way.
And that’s to win our next, and after that win your next game. And when it takes you to winning the league you can see what winning the league has been like.
For us it doesn’t matter what others say, it’s what we think we’ve achieved ourselves. As a group of staff we are more critical than anyone. We’re always looking to do our best and this has been a good season."