Berba backed by rampant Rooney
Berbatov has struggled under the pressure of his £30.75million price tag, and has come in for a lot of criticism from fans since his move from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2008. During that time, Rooney has blossomed, especially this season when he has taken on the responsibility of being United's main goalscorer following Cristiano Ronaldo's absence. Rooney said of Berbatov: "Strikers always go through a bad patch and they get criticised by people who do not see how much effort he is putting in day in and day out. "Berbatov's a very technically sound player. He can score, create opportunities for the guys and gives me a great deal of freedom to get forward. "He does his fair share and our partnership is very fresh, and it'll get better. He's just focusing on his game." Rooney does not believe his improved record in front of goal is down to the departure of Ronaldo. The England centre-forward has notched 19 Premier League goals, but he claims United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has not instructed him to play differently this campaign. "I wouldn't say the manager has told me to play in a different way. I've been playing like this for years." Rooney told goal.com. "I've just matured and been given a lot more responsibility but that doesn't mean I don't want to win. I still have that passion and hunger. "Hopefully I can have a good run in the side now and keep scoring goals. We've got ourselves into a good position in the league. "We've dealt with defensive setbacks very well. The way we played last season has given us a lot of confidence and we will get there. "The pressure to succeed is still there because every manager and every single player wants to make a name for themselves at our expense." Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004, continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford amid reported interest from Spanish giants Madrid and Barcelona. However, the 24-year-old has reiterated his desire to remain with the Red Devils. He said: "I'm a Manchester United player unless the manager tells me otherwise. "I live near the training ground, life's good and I just want to play for Manchester United because the manager has given me so much and I want to repay his faith in me. "I've channelled my feelings and passion into all the right places and I'm a man, not the kid everyone saw a few years ago, and I owe it to the manager."