Fergie tips Rooney to 'take off'
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wants Wayne Rooney to regain the consistency that saw him score 34 goals last season.
While the England striker's work-rate has not been in question this season, he has struggled to regularly find the target.
However, a brace in the victory against Aston Villa on Tuesday, only his fourth and fifth goals of the campaign, suggest he could be ready to kick on. That could spell bad news for bottom-club Wolves, who face the unbeaten Premier League leaders at Molineux on Saturday evening.
Ferguson said: "Hopefully - and there's every chance with scoring the kind of goals he scored the other night - he'll take off.
"Goalscorers are like that and hopefully that's what we're going to see with Wayne. He's got 14 league games, European games and FA Cup games - he could easily get a good average.
"Last season he was very consistent - in previous years he has scored in clutches of five or six games. But if he can get the consistency of last season then we are going to benefit from that."
With Dimitar Berbatov scoring regularly and new recruit Javier Hernandez chipping in as well with some vital goals, some of the heat has been taken off Rooney. Ferguson, though, stresses that there is much more to Rooney's game than just goals.
"What Wayne has always had is a fantastic energy to play in a game," said the United boss.
"He's always committed to doing his best. The bonus is, as we saw the other night, he got two goals."
United are looking to stretch their unbeaten run to 30 league games stretching back to last season - a club record - but according to Darren Fletcher regaining the title is the detail that counts. "It has been a rollercoaster.
There have been times when we've thought it (the run) was gone and then we've come back late in games," said the Scotland midfielder.
"Everyone keeps talking about the unbeaten run. It's fantastic and gives you confidence knowing you're on this run and looking to set a new club record.
"But the most important thing - the thing all the players are focused on and bothered about - is winning the league. We'd rather have that than maintaining an unbeaten run."
Not that Fletcher is taking Wolves lightly. Mick McCarthy's side lost to Bolton in midweek but only after a late Daniel Sturridge goal. Fletcher said: "People might not expect us to lose at Wolves but we have got to be very cautious.
"The performances they have produced haven't really got them the points they deserve. I think they have been mighty unlucky in a lot of games.
"They've had some good results against the bigger teams like Liverpool and Chelsea. We know it's going to be a very difficult match.
"Five or six years ago we experienced a loss at Wolves when we were sitting top of the league, so it just goes to show that you have to be wary and be on top of your game."
Fletcher has declared himself fit for the match after going off in the Villa match with an eye injury. He said: "I am fine. All the vision has come back and I trained this morning. So I am available for selection and looking forward to the match."
Rafael is also in contention after recovering from a bout of concussion during the victory over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.