United retain focus despite Rooney absence
Wayne Rooney but nursing a deep determination to get their season back on track. It could be argued Rooney's struggle for form has been a contributing factor to a stop-start opening that has seen United register four draws from seven matches in all competitions. Yet that only tells part of the story, which is why Rooney's absence from the team flight to Spain through an ankle injury should have minimal effect. Of far more importance is defensive solidity, which has been strangely absent for United so far but which they will undoubtedly require on Wednesday if they are to avoid defeat against a side that has shrugged off the summer departures of David Villa and David Silva to become the surprise early-season pace-setters in the Primera Division. "It is going to be a difficult match," said midfielder Darren Fletcher. "People might say it is not the same Valencia because they have lost Villa and Silva. "But as we have seen at Manchester United, when you lose good players others step up to the mark and take on more responsibility. They have had a fantastic start."