Fulham boss Martin Jol is confident that striker Dimitar Berbatov can show his class on his return to Manchester United today.
Berbatov left Old Trafford for Craven Cottage in the summer, and when the two teams meet in the FA Cup on Saturday 26 January, Jol hopes that the mercurial Bulgarian will prove to be the difference for the Londoners.
Berbatov divided opinion during his spell under Sir Alex Ferguson in Manchester, with some fans and pundits accusing him of being lazy.
The £30m hitman eventually slipped to fourth choice striker, with boss Ferguson preferring Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez instead.
Jol insisted that the player he brought to Fulham last summer has nothing to prove in the fourth-round clash.
"He gave them exactly what they wanted," Jol said. "They won prizes in the first couple of years that he was there so I think he did well.
"He is not 18 or 19 so I don't need to protect him or talk about Man United and, hopefully, they will give him a good reception. That's always nice and I think they were pretty happy with him over there and why not, because he was doing well for them," Jol told Fulhamfc.com
But Jol will be hoping that the Bulgarian can deliver a much needed cutting edge for Fulham, who have failed to score in four of their last seven away games.
Berbatov has struggled to find a run of goal-scoring form, finding the net seven times since joining for free last summer. Fulham have won just two of their last 10 games in all competitions.
"I don't want to put pressure on him," said Jol. "Hopefully he will do something nice but, for me, it's important that he works for the team. He knows the position; we are not in a great position, we need the points [in the league] and we would love to go to the next round [of the FA Cup] even though we're playing against Manchester United."
Fulham will looking to overturn the form book today. They have not beaten Manchester United since 2009 and have managed only one draw in the last five clashes between the pair.
Earlier this week, Jol sounded optimistic about his side's chances. Following their 2-0 defeat at Manchester City, Jol suggested that United would be easier opponents than their cross-town rivals. "We played at Old Trafford earlier this season and lost 3-2," said Jol. "We scored two goals against United, we didn't score against City."
Manchester United play Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday 26 January. Kick-off is at 5.30pm GMT, and live TV coverage begins at 4.30pm on ESPN. Live radio commentary is available on BBC 5 Live.
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