Belfast Telegraph

Fergie pleased with Rooney display

Sir Alex Ferguson is preferring to focus on Wayne Rooney's all-round contribution to the Manchester United cause rather than merely the end of his number one striker's 13-match goal drought.

Rooney belted home the first-half penalty that set United on their way to a 3-0 defeat of West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday night. It was Rooney's first goal since March, a period of time that has included a niggling ankle injury and that deflating World Cup campaign.

"Strikers want to score," stressed Ferguson. "But it is Wayne's performance that we should be talking about. He was full of life and energy. He worked his socks off. He needs games but the 90 minutes will bring him on."

For once, Ferguson is happy to have a couple of international fixtures for Rooney to concentrate on, which he feels will ensure his main striker is fully primed for the visit to Everton on September 11.

Dimitar Berbatov scored for the third time this season to wrap up the victory, his acrobatic volley capping a fine individual display. Nani had scored United's second shortly after half-time.

"Dimitar and Paul Scholes orchestrated that victory," said Ferguson. "They deserved their standing ovation and Dimitar's goal was excellent."

Three successive defeats have left Avram Grant's West Ham side bottom of the table and staring at a difficult campaign ahead.

"We knew before it began that it would be a tough season," he said.

"We are trying to change some things but it will take more than three or five games to judge us. We need a lot more than that.

"People can say what they like about this performance but we tried our best."


From Belfast Telegraph