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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 15, 2007

Strong squad will make the difference - Larsson

Manchester United are only now beginning to feel the full benefit of having such a strong squad, according to on-loan striker Henrik Larsson.

The 35-year-old Swede was drafted in last month to assist the Premiership leaders' three-pronged assault on silverware and is scheduled to return to parent club Helsingborg in March.

Larsson has lightened the load of fellow forwards Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer at Old Trafford and believes the forthcoming fixture logjam will see all the club's fringe players play crucial roles.

'The season is entering a massively important stage,' he wrote on his personal website.

'It's now that you really appreciate having a big squad of quality players.'

United are looking to emulate their historic treble of 1999 and the next week will help determine whether they are able to do so.

Saturday sees them host Reading in the FA Cup fifth round, while on Tuesday they travel to Lille for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

Four days after that, they visit Fulham in the Premiership looking to stretch their lead to nine points.

Larsson feels last weekend's 2-0 victory over Charlton proves how important rotation can be, with key men Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Carrick rested to be replaced by Park Ji-Sung and Darren Fletcher.

Larsson said: 'I thought the lads who came in for Ronaldo and Carrick - Park and Fletcher - did really well against Charlton and the fact that they scored the goals shows just how important it is to have guys like that who are an integral part of the set-up.

'Ronaldo and Carrick are world-class players, so you will always miss them, but when you have these other tremendous players coming in it's just a matter of doing things slightly differently. Each player offers something different to the team.'

Larsson has played a part in every game since registering as a United player and, while he would love to continue being so involved, he would understand if he was asked to stand aside because of the quality waiting in the wings.

'In training, I look at the squad and see that anybody could start a game and United would be as strong as ever,' he said.

'There has been a great process of bringing players through and buying intelligently at the club.

'We have a lot of games coming up now over the next couple of weeks, but we train well and prepare well, so there is no reason why we can't take these games in our stride.

'Everybody is up for it and, when you are playing well and enjoying the football, you want to play every day.'