WOUT WEGHORST OPENED his Manchester United goalscoring account and then vowed to prove he can be more than just a stop-gap striker.
The Dutchman scored the second in the Red Devils' rousing 3-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg victory at The City Ground on Wednesday night.
Now the on-loan 6ft 6 frontman is aiming to add plenty more to become a permanent fixture in Erik Ten Hag's plans.
Weghorst, 30, said: "This is the situation now, it was for a loan. To deliver and help the team.
"It’s a massive club so I will try to do everything as good as I can and if it will work out it will be a good option.
"I’ve seen how big the club is, in everything, facilities, even the quality in the team, the way were playing, there’s a lot of quality in everything and that’s something you look to work in, in a winning atmosphere.
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"I think the first week went well and it’s up to me to deliver and contribute and to help the team as good as I can. I’m quite confident I can play a role in it."
United were desperately in need of another frontman.
The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo left only injury-prone Anthony Martial as the out-and-out striking option with in-form Marcus Rashford operating best off the left.
Now Weghorst believes he can justify that further goalscoring role as well as being the target man that United lacked.
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He said: "We were looking for a target man, that was something the club was looking for.
"Of course, with Martial there was only like one real striker, more of a number nine.
"They just wanted to add one and then it's up to me and to take my chances.
"The moments are there and then it’s just to deliver, contribute and help the team also in the way I'm playing, the way I am pressing.
"It’s my third game, you start to recognise the way the players around you are playing and you’re making your runs.
"There’s still room for improvement but I showed in the link-up at the end zone to come through me. We had some really good moments there. Let’s make it even better.
Weghorst’s last foray into English football was a disappointing six months last season at Burnley following a £12million move from Wolfsburg.
It brought just two goals from 17 league appearances but a loan move to Besiktas in Turkey saw him find his goalscoring boots with eight goals in 16 league appearances.
That, with his double in the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina that forced extra-time and penalties brought him back to the attention of Ten Hag.
United bought out his loan deal to get him to Old Trafford and three games in he has helped to put the team on the road to their first silverware in six years.
His goal right on half-time against Nottingham Forest followed up Marcus Rashford’s sixth-minute opener.
He showed his striking instincts as he was first to a parried shot from Antony to fire the ball into the roof of the net.
Weghorst said: "I just moved forward to the goal hoping for the rebound and it came.
"It came a little bit on the left of me and I took it, jumped in with the outside. I hit it fully.
"I was hoping that the ball was falling there and it did exactly.
"Great night. A great result, great feeling, of course."
His goal came at the perfect time as United were losing some control after that early opener with Forest only denied an equaliser by inches with VAR ruling it out.
Weghorst said: "It was a really good moment, good timing to score shortly before the half-time because, yeah, we were not that in control in the game, so I think that definitely helped us."
While Weghorst was celebrating his first for the club, Marcus Rashford slotted home his 18th of the season and tenth in ten games since returning from the World Cup where he hit three for England.
What a goal it was too as he ran from ten yards inside his own half before finishing in the near bottom corner.
Weghorst is full of admiration for the form the 25-year-old is in right now.
He said: "You see the great run he’s in. He’s delivering, every week you see it in training, he’s got a lot of quality.
"He’s also a really good guy, a really open guy, he was the first one who came to me when I scored my goal.
"We have a good relationship, you see the qualities he has. He’s extremely important for us, the way we play, he’s a massive part."
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The result at The City Ground was the perfect way for United to get back on track after the double blow of conceding late goals both away at Crystal Palace to draw and in the 3-2 defeat at league leaders Arsenal.
They are on a run of ten wins, a draw, and just one defeat as they prepare to face Reading in the FA Cup evening kick-off on Saturday.
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