Rooney warning: Ferdinand and Vidic will help me score even MORE goals!
Wayne Rooney is predicting Manchester United will become even more prolific now their first choice central defensive partnership is back in action. Thanks to Rooney's efforts, United have so far been able to make light of lengthy absences for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic this season. Already the duo's recovery from back and nerve problems respectively has had an impact, with United keeping successive clean sheets for the first time since October. Calming influence: Rio Ferdinand (left) United's rock: Nemanja Vidic (top) And, ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League encounter with Fulham, Rooney revealed the additional security means United can attack with greater conviction. 'It is always difficult when your defenders are injured,' he told MUTV. 'You base your team around a solid back four and we have not had that all season. 'We have used different defenders in different games but thankfully now Rio and Nemanja are back. It gives us more stability in defence and that should mean more opportunities to score.' Rooney took his tally to 30 for the season with his midweek brace against AC Milan, so it is little wonder Sir Alex Ferguson reacted with irritation yesterday when asked what he would do if the England striker got injured. 'I am not even thinking about that,' Ferguson said. 'Please, give me a break. Do you want to stick pins in us?' Relaxed: United's Rooney and Vidic during a training session Tempting fate or not, United tackle Fulham at Old Trafford knowing Rooney is pivotal to their hopes of glory. A place in the last eight of the Champions League is already assured but it is a record 19th title - and an unprecedented fourth in a row - that is really driving Ferguson on. 'The record we are chasing is four titles in a row,' he said. 'That would be fantastic. It would be the 19th title. It would be the most in the league. 'It doesn't matter who you beat for that record, it's a record and we have got a chance.' Victory at Wolves last weekend may have been scrappy, but it contained exactly the right ingredients Ferguson looks for at this stage of the season. He has been down this road so many times before and can sense glory again. 'That match was the best indicator of our chances,' he said. 'We have had these kind of games over the years, where players are prepared to battle against a very determined team. 'It is not the kind of game you like to watch or enjoy because it was such a battle. But the players stood up to it and wanted to win because of the importance of the game. That is the way it is going to be to the end of the season.' How do Fulham stop Wayne Rooney? Easy, we've got Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes! Confident Paul Konchesky looking forward to Manchester United testUnited winger Ryan Giggs back 'to destroy Liverpool's title record' ANDY TOWNSEND'S BOOT ROOM: news and stats for every matchMANCHESTER UNITED FC
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