English Premiership

Rooney will 'score' 20 goals

2012-11-09 14:07
Wayne Rooney (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is certain that Wayne Rooney will score 20 goals this season - despite his relatively poor start to the campaign.

The England striker, 27, had a spell on the sidelines with a gash on his knee earlier this season but has only managed three goals in all competitions.

In contrast, Robin van Persie has managed 11 goals since joining from Arsenal in a 24 million ($38 million, 30-million-euro) deal in the close season, while Mexico striker Javier Hernandez has already managed six.

Ferguson, who has a doubt over Jonny Evans for the trip to Aston Villa, feels that persuading Mexico to allow Hernandez to miss this year's Olympic Games in London has made a big difference.

Rooney managed his first Champions League goal in the 3-1 win at Portuguese outfit Braga in mid-week but missed a penalty in the 2-1 victory against Arsenal at the weekend.

Ferguson's side, who lost the title to cross-town rivals Manchester City on goal difference last season, have scored 26 goals in their 10 Premier League matches.

But after last season's problems, Ferguson has calmed concerns about Rooney's opening to the season and has been delighted with Van Persie's start to life at Old Trafford.

"Robin's experienced. He had eight years at Arsenal helps and he's come to us at the right time, there's no doubt," he told a news conference.

"He's got us 11 goals so far and Chicharito (Hernandez) is on six and getting back to what he was a couple of years ago and a summer's rest has helped enormously.

"He's looking fresh and aggressive with his running, always a handful, and Wazza (Rooney) will get to 20 goals plus, I'm sure of that. It's a healthy combination we've got up there.

"Last year we lost on goal difference and I don't expect us to lose on goal difference again and Robin may make that difference. Wayne had goals last year and the way Chicharito has started this season I'm certain he'll get to 20 plus.

"Chicho enjoyed a summer's rest and there's no doubt that the combination they are winning games."

Evans is a doubt for the trip to Villa Park after picking up a minor groin problem in Portugal.

Ferguson is wary of using Chris Smalling, who returned from three months out with groin and foot problems, again after the England defender made his return to action in Portugal.

The United manager admits he may have to press Smalling, 22, into action once again at Villa Park, where Portuguese winger Nani will be absent with a hamstring injury.

Ferguson believes that qualification for the knock-out phase of the Champions League after just four games will be a major boost to his team.

United failed to progress from the group phase for just the third time in their history last season and Ferguson admits that having to push hard in all six games had an impact.

"It's a good position to be in and hopefully we can capitalise and utilise our squad," he added.

"It gives me good opportunities to alter and give people that need a rest a rest but we still want to win the games.

"We've got to go to Galatasary and Turkey is always a difficult place to go. I just think that it's a good position to be in as regards to last season we went to the last game and didn't qualify and it definitely has an impact."

Read more on:    manchester united  |  epl  |  alex ferguson  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.