FERGIE HAILS NEW MATURITY
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson saluted Cristiano Ronaldo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the heroes of their 3-0 win at Charlton in the absence of suspended Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes.
Ronaldo defied the Charlton boo-boys to turn on a dazzling display, hitting the crossbar just before half time.
And substitute Solskjaer, 32, scored his first Premiership goal since April 2003 after three injury-wrecked years in which he had reconstructive knee surgery.
The Norwegian's tap-in came at the end of the game at The Valley and sealed another runaway win by United who cemented their early leadership of the Barclays Premiership - as champions Chelsea crashed 2-1 at Middlesbrough.
Fergie said: "The advantage is that Chelsea have lost but after just two games you cannot talk about (winning) the league yet. But of course we have the will to do it, we have the players to do it and without question we have the spirit in the camp to do it.
"It was a great performance at Charlton, nobody can deny that. I was a bit concerned about the game when a few players missed out through injuries and suspension.
"But we have a lot of maturity there now with players like Ronaldo, (Darren) Fletcher and Park Ji-Sung growing up.
"Ronaldo looked more mature - and was fantastic tonight. It is always a tough game at The Valley and we had to wear them down. We were frustrated when we hit the post and the crossbar but then got a goal out of nothing.
"And it was a great night for the fans and the staff when Solskjaer scored. He has had a tough few years but we never lost faith and he got his rewards."
New Charlton boss Iain Dowie saw his team suffer their second defeat of the campaign and admitted: "They (United) played well tonight. They are a match for anybody in the country like that but the manner of the goals we conceded was disappointing.
"Fletcher took advantage of Jon Fortune's slip and we were always chasing the game. We changed our shape in midfield but didn't work hard enough at passing the ball.
"And at key moments we switched off defensively. They have key players who can hurt you when you did that. I was at their 5-1 win over Fulham on Sunday and knew we would face problems. They zip the ball about and rotate very well."
Dowie revealed new £3million signing from Spurs Andy Reid was not fit enough to join the squad and that Gonzalo Sorondo is out long-term "with a fracture".