Ferguson praise for United centurion Rooney
Wayne Rooney demonstrated he was capable of filling the goal-scoring hole left by Cristiano Ronaldo by netting twice in Manchester United's 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic on Saturday. United had made a stuttering start to the Premier League season, losing to Burnley on Wednesday after opening with a narrow victory over Birmingham City. However with three goals already this season, the 23-year-old Rooney looks ready to step into Ronaldo's shoes following the prolific Portugal winger's close-season transfer to Real Madrid. New signing Michael Owen also chipped in with his first competitive goal for United at Wigan while Nani, often unfavourably compared to Ronaldo, put the icing on the cake for the holders with a delightful free kick. Rooney's contribution was the most significant, especially as his double took him past 100 goals for the club. "It is a great achievement and he is only a young lad," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "Some players have been at the club for many years and not reached that total yet. "Strikers have to score, that is their mantra. If they are not scoring, they think the world is at an end. "When they are scoring, they think they will never finish scoring. But that is what they are." Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004, was replaced by substitute Owen in the 72nd minute. Former Liverpool striker Owen had looked off the pace in his first two appearances, also as a substitute, but Ferguson said opening his United account would lift a weight off his shoulders and allow his natural instincts to flourish. "That is what he needed, a goal," said Ferguson. "It is what he is made of. All his career has been about goals. "He is one of the best finishers this country has ever had. Today can only help him. "I was so pleased for him and Dimitar Berbatov (scorer of the second goal). If the strikers keep doing that, it gives us a big chance," added Ferguson.