Ferguson urges misfiring Rooney to hit back of the net more often


Alex Ferguson has called on Wayne Rooney to start scoring more goals, with the striker managing three this season for Manchester United, one of those a penalty.

Rooney has often been operating at the tip of a diamond formation where he has created six league goals, as many as Chelsea’s Juan Mata but behind Carlos Tevez’s eight and Eden Hazard’s nine.

“I’m happy with that part of his game . . . he’s not scoring and it will change once he starts to score regular,” said Ferguson.

Robin van Persie’s arrival from Arsenal means Ferguson no longer considers Rooney as only a striker. “With Van Persie coming, without doubt he [the Dutch man] is an up front player,” said the Scot.

“The players are now starting to realise what a good player he is . . . There were some games where the way we kept possession was middle to wide . . . without using the central area. There is more awareness about the runs he’s making.

After today’s trip to Reading for the late game, United host CFR Cluj having already won their Champions League group before next Sunday’s derby with Manchester City, for which Ferguson is boosted by the return of Nemanja Vidic following a knee injury. “He started training during the week and did okay,” said Ferguson. “It would be nice to play him on Wednesday . . . he’s just short of match practice.”

Ferguson confirmed that Anders Lindegaard can expect to retain the goalkeeping jersey ahead of David de Gea, with the Dane set to make a fifth consecutive start despite the Spaniard, who cost €23.2 million, being available.

“Anders has come in and done well,” said Ferguson. “It’s one of those situations where there is no actual reason to leave Anders out in terms of form and hopefully David understands that.”

Ferguson admitted that he has to choose soon between the two instead of alternating.

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