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Rooney nears return

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United will hope the return of Wayne Rooney will inspire them to recapture the winning formula - particularly away from Old Trafford.

Rooney is set to resume training at Carrington after flying back to England after his week long 'refocusing' trip to the United States. The England striker has recovered from the ankle injury that has sidelined him for a month and he is likely to be in contention for next weekend's home clash with Wigan.

"Will Rooney play next weekend? We will have a look at Wayne. He is back in the country," said United assistant manager Mike Phelan.

United showed typical fighting qualities in recovering from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Aston Villa after being outplayed for the majority of the second period.

It maintained their unbeaten record but it was the sixth time in seven away games that United have shared the spoils this season.

"We will have a look at him and then we will build towards next weekend," added Phelan. "He has trained very well. The exercise that we have put in place for him has worked well. We will assess him during the week."

Phelan admits United were fortunate Villa were wasteful in front of goal and that yet another draw is small consolation.

He said: "We lacked that bit of composure, got bossed in certain areas of the field and didn't take control like we normally do.

"We've come out of this game with a point when we should have been more than two goals behind at one stage of the game.

"I thought Villa were quite wasteful when they got in front of goal and that only gives you encouragement. We kept going forward, we changed it with a couple of players and that inspired us to go forward."