Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is struggling to bring the best out of misfiring Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United striker has looked a shadow of his former self in recent weeks, failing to hit the heights of last season.
The England international has scored just three goals this term, with injuries and a distracting contract saga hindering his cause.
He is now in real danger of losing his starting role, with Mexican starlet Javier Hernandez waiting in the wings.
The 22-year-old helped to dig United out of a hole at Blackpool on Tuesday, making an immediate impact after replacing Rooney in a dramatic 3-2 win.
Ferguson admits to being impressed with Hernandez’s ongoing progress and faces something of a selection poser now that he is outshining Rooney.
Following the midweek encounter at Bloomfield Road, Ferguson said: “We tried to use Wayne as a wide player and although he has played that role well many times, he was just not getting into the game in the first half.
“It was no fault of his. The rhythm of our game wasn’t right. We were all over the place.
“We then tried to put him through the middle but, when we were still 2-0 down 20 minutes into the second half, we had to do something and had to gamble.
“Chicharito [Hernandez] was a gamble. But of course immediately he went right through and forced a terrific save from their goalkeeper.
“Then he got the equaliser for us and in fact could have scored four goals. So he made a great impact.”