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Berbatov: Not playing is painful

Dimitar Berbatov says sitting on the sidelines is painful but he insists he is primed and ready to help Manchester United in their quest to win yet another Premier League title.

• Carrick: We're struggling defensively

Berbatov has featured in just ten league games this season, starting on only five occasions. The striker found the net against Stoke on January 31, but was not even on the bench for the win over former club Tottenham.

It marks a rapid fall for a player who was signed for a a club record £30.75million in 2008 but he maintains he is still fighting for his place.

"It's just about being ready,'' he told United Review. "We have a big squad and you know sometimes you are not going to play. It's sad and it's painful but you need to be strong and be prepared for when your team-mates need your help. We are a team and we want to win together.''

Despite his lack of appearances, Berbatov is still United's joint third top scorer with an overall tally of nine. That figures includes five in two games against Wigan and Blackburn just after Christmas.

"Every time I have played I think I have done well,'' he said. "I'm ready and waiting whenever the boss gives me a chance to show my quality and deliver. I want to do as much as I can to help us win the title.''

Berbatov will be hoping for some involvement in Sunday's Old Trafford encounter with West Brom. Leaders Manchester City play at Swansea at the same time and Sir Alex Ferguson has already noted Roberto Mancini's attempt at mind games, claiming United would win at Tottenham a day before the match was played.

Ferguson said: "We were better in the second half and ran out winners - just as Roberto Mancini said we would... welcome to the mind games, Roberto, by the way!''

Ferguson views that 3-1 triumph as "pivotal'' although he acknowledges there are a few twists and turns still to come. "I am pretty sure we will experience some hectic finishes this March, as the pace hots up with the finishing line in sight, but I think we can count on the players getting to grips with the situation.''

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