Soccer-World-Mexico have big hopes for Little Pea in Brazil

MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) - Javier Hernandez getting back among the goals at Manchester United after a bit-part role this season would come as a welcome relief to Mexico coach Miguel Herrera ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, after finding firepower a big problem in qualifying. Nicknamed 'Chicharito', or little pea, fans of the 25-year-old have seen less of his big grin this season after he was restricted to mainly substitute appearances for United under manager David Moyes, who lost his job on April 22 after less than a season at Old Trafford. Yet his importance to Mexico has been underlined by assurances from Herrera, the national side's fourth coach since September, who told Reuters in March the frontman's World Cup prospects remained unharmed despite his spell in the shadows at Old Trafford. While his form is less impressive than the 20, 12 and 18 goals scored in a more fruitful first three seasons under Alex Ferguson, a handful of goals for United since the turn of the year despite restricted appearances does bode some good for Mexico. Despite his age, Hernandez is his country's joint third highest scorer after Jared Borgetti (46) and Cuauhtemoc Blanco (39) with 35 goals. His pace and excellent silky moves inside the box will make him a threat in Brazil. With Mexico having managed only seven goals in two wins from 10 games in qualifying, before arriving via a playoff win over New Zealand, it is likely Hernandez's tally will need to be stretched if Mexico are to navigate their way through a tricky Group A consisting of hosts Brazil, Cameroon and Croatia. Hernandez - whose grandfather, Tomas Balcazar, and father, Javier, nicknamed 'Chicharo' (pea) because of his green eyes, both played for Mexico - has form at big tournaments. Days before swapping his hometown club Chivas de Guadalajara for United he scored twice for Mexico at the 2010 World Cup and in 2011 ended top scorer in their victorious CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with seven goals. A clear talent held up in a queue for a starting berth at United behind Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie, Mexico coach Herrera has questioned why United do not let Hernandez move on. However, with Moyes departing he could get more starts if he stays. If not a good showing in Brazil could persuade other suitors to move for him after the finals are over. (Writing by Neil Maidment; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Mike Collett)

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