O'Neill wary of Rooney threat

09 February 2010 03:28
Martin O'Neill believes Wayne Rooney is in the best form of his career as he looks to his frugal Aston Villa defence to shut out the Manchester United star in their clash at Villa Park. Rooney has netted 21 times in the Barclays Premier League - his best tally for a season - and United have scored 61 goals to make them the division's leading scorers. But Villa have the best defensive record in the top flight - just 18 goals conceded in 24 games - and shut out the Red Devils in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in December. O'Neill said: "It is Manchester United in town and at the moment they are playing particularly strongly. "Rooney is in fantastic form. He has been an exceptional player for some time. He is probably playing the best he has ever played at the moment, scoring goals as well, which gives you a big boost of confidence. "He has been a real top quality player for the last four or five years. Has he stepped up after the loss of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo? It seems he has taken on even more responsibility and he is thriving on it."

Source: PA