Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Restless Rooney pleases Ferguson

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes there is a freshness and vitality to Wayne Rooney this season that ensures "he can never stand still" on the pitch.

The forward's impressive form from the second half of last season has spilled over into this term, with Rooney scoring 13 minutes into last Sunday's season-opening 2-1 win at West Brom to suggest the campaign ahead could be a significant one.

"He's been flying in pre-season," said Ferguson. "His fitness is terrific, he has the same energy all the time, he is a restless player on the pitch, he can never stand still. He is a tremendous asset to our squad. It's interesting to see how he is combining with (Danny) Welbeck at the moment. Both have done very well together."

Giving 20-year-old Welbeck an opportunity in the Community Shield and at The Hawthorns has left Dimitar Berbatov consigned to the bench, whilst Ferguson also has Javier Hernandez to come back from concussion.

The attacking options for Ferguson are mouthwatering, adding: "I've Berbatov who did very well in pre-season, he played really well.

"When Chicarito (Hernandez) returns then I've a selection problem to work out the best combination. For me, Chicarito has goals written all over him, so it's not a bad position to be in."

With Hernandez still sidelined and with Michael Owen also out with a niggly back problem, Ferguson is limited to either Berbatov or Welbeck to start alongside Rooney for tomorrow's visit of Tottenham.

Although Spurs have not won at Old Trafford since 1989, a run of 26 matches in all competitions, they head to the north west in fine form after thumping Hearts 5-0 in Thursday's Europa League play-off first leg.

Even Ferguson has admitted to being "surprised" at the margin of victory as Hearts had already played six competitive matches prior to entertaining a Spurs side for whom it was their first game of the season.

"I watched the game and they played very well," said Ferguson. "They had too much class for Hearts, and class tells, no matter the level of fitness of teams. Tottenham had that more than Hearts."

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