Manchester United's David Moyes: Danny Welbeck has regular spot chance

• 'He will still have scope when Rooney and Van Persie are fit'
• Norwich City's Chris Hughton unlikely to make big signing

Understandably unwilling to start talking numbers when asked how long Manchester United could maintain their current winning run, David Moyes showed no such disinclination when discussing the future of Danny Welbeck.

"We're trying to get his finishing up with his effort and levels and I think Danny is responding, he's thinking 'This is quite good, I'm beginning to score some goals, I'm getting recognised for that as well'," said Moyes, after seeing Welbeck put United ahead by taking advantage of a fortunate rebound after the visitors had been comfortably second best for the best part of an hour at Carrow Road.

"I think he got one last year, he's got five or six this year," said Moyes, before it was pointed out to him that the 23-year-old has actually scored 10 times this season, seven for United and three for England.

"Is it? That's beginning to get better, you have to say it's going in the right direction. With the second half of the season to go he should certainly be looking to score 20 goals – and we need him to do that. When you don't have Wayne [Rooney] and you don't have Robin [Van Persie] you need people to step up to the mark and in quite a few games recently he's done that for us."

Rooney, left at home nursing what Moyes described as an adductor injury in the groin area, which had also kept him out of the Capital One Cup quarter-final against Stoke on December 18, is expected to be fit to play against Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day. Van Persie, he said, was back in light training, which suggests the Dutchman may still be three weeks away.

Whether Welbeck's improvement of late has been such that he can have genuine expectations of being a regular starter once "Wayne and Robin" are both fit and firing is doubtful, although Moyes insisted otherwise.

"I think so but I don't think at Manchester United you ever only have two players who are doing their jobs, you have to have more or, like in these games, you just would never be able to cope when you pick up injuries. I see it more as a squad and you know, Chicharito [Javier Hernández] is part of that as well, he's a great goalscorer as well."

There was little evidence to that effect in this game. The Mexican barely had a kick during a first half in which Norwich City became increasingly dominant but had Russell Martin, Robert Snodgrass, Gary Hooper and Wes Hoolahan all missing chances to put them ahead.

The second half was a more even affair after Moyes replaced a labouring Ryan Giggs with Welbeck and switched from five to four in midfield. Even then Nathan Redmond shaved a post for Norwich and after Welbeck had seized his opportunity when Ryan Bennett's clearance struck him and then Hernández before rebounding into his path, the Canaries still had enough possession to create an equaliser. As Moyes acknowledged, however, United seem to have rediscovered the knack of winning games when being some distance from their best.

Welbeck, who actually scored twice for United last season, also talked positively about it being "a squad game", although as Chris Hughton said, some squads have rather more depth than others.

"We had a good day and it was not one of their better days but they are so used to grinding out results," sighed the Norwich manager. That he was roundly booed for taking off Hooper – whom he later said had a minor injury – is indicative that the City supporters remain far from convinced he is the man to keep them in the Premier League and after picking up two points from their last four games, Wednesday's match at Crystal Palace has become very important.

So too may be the transfer window, although both managers played down the likelihood of making any major signings. "We have had a tough period in recent weeks and at one stage had four midfield players out, which, when you have a squad like ours, it is tougher than it would be for a United. We've coped with it well and it's seen other players get an opportunity. We'll only do anything if it's right," said Hughton.

"We have a few out injured, especially in midfield, but we won't be doing a lot of business in January because most players won't be available," said Moyes.

Man of the match Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)

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