Cape Town - Manchester United defender Chris Smalling feels it is only a matter of time before Wayne Rooney starts firing and is back in the starting line-up.
Smalling stood in as captain as regular skipper Rooney was dropped to the bench for Saturday's 4-1 victory over Premier League champions Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Rooney's lack of form has been a major talking point this season, and United manager Jose Mourinho made the decision to take the 30-year-old out of the starting team and only introduced him late in the game.
Despite his ponderous form for club and country, Smalling says Rooney remained as vocal as ever before and after the match on Saturday.
Smalling said: "He was the same, as in before the game when we're all getting ready. He is often one of the most vocal and he was the same on Saturday.
"Regardless of whatever the situation is, whatever game, whether he is on the bench or playing or whatever, he is always that same type of character and that's why he is England's main man and our main man.
"I think he's a very experienced guy and he's played that many games that I think it'll only be a matter of time before he's back in there and firing again because he's quality."