No jealousy for goal-shy Rooney

21 January 2011 10:30

Wayne Rooney may be playing second fiddle to Dimitar Berbatov in the goalscoring stakes this season - but that has not lessened his pleasure at playing alongside the Bulgarian.

Rooney has found the net only three times this season, two of which have come from the penalty spot. Berbatov exceeded that figure in a single game when he scored five against Blackburn in November, part of an overall Premier League tally of 14.

"I enjoy playing with Dimitar," Rooney told the official Champions League magazine. "If we are playing well together it is the product of us playing and training together for years. You start to learn which movements he will make, when he will pass the ball and when he will shoot. He is fantastic to play with. He can do things that are really special."

After relying on their defensive capabilities to secure a goalless draw at Tottenham last Sunday, United will hope their attack starts to fire ahead of a four-match run that could shape their season.

They open with a home encounter against a Birmingham side that snatched a point off them at St Andrew's over the festive programme, before heading to Blackpool for the first of their matches in hand.

Maximum points there, followed by encounters with Aston Villa and Wolves could leave the Red Devils in a very strong position ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on February 12.

With an FA Cup tie as well, and the resumption of their European campaign looming, Ferguson will need to utilise his squad. And that means more appearances for Javier Hernandez, someone else who has impressed Rooney since his arrival from Mexico in the summer.

"He is a great finisher and a really nice lad," said the United striker. "He is always on the training pitch, trying to improve, which is nice to see and shows his dedication.

"He always has a smile on his face and enjoys his football.

"He has done really well in his first season and won us a few games. He has scored some important goals already. Hopefully he will continue to do that for years to come."

Source: PA