Fast start impresses Ferguson

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Sir Alex Ferguson has been impressed with the early season efforts of his Manchester United squad, admitting he imagined the players would find things far more difficult during the fledgling days of the new campaign.

United have taken maximum points from their four league outings so far, and sit at the top of the table with a hefty goal difference of positive 15.

In their most recent encounter, the reigning Barclays Premier League champions thrashed Bolton 5-0 at the Reebok Stadium, following on from the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal at Old Trafford.

West Brom and Tottenham have also been put to the sword by United, who face Chelsea next weekend in quite incredible form.

But, first up, is the challenge of Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Ferguson's troops ready for the test.

"When I saw the programme to begin with I thought it would be tough but the boys are coping with it very well," said the United boss.

"There are a lot of big games coming up. We've got Chelsea next Sunday and we've got to go to Lisbon on Wednesday which is an important game. Benfica have always been tremendous opponents of ours and it'll be another hard game."


Ferguson, meanwhile, has paid tribute to Wayne Rooney, with the England striker United's stand out performer this term.

The 25-year-old has netted eight times in four games - including back-to-back hat-tricks - and, says Ferguson, is maturing into a great player.

"It's down to maturity," he added. "He's in his mid-20s and I always think when players get to this age they get more authority in their game, their timing is better and their control of games is better.

"His presence is getting bigger in every game. He's looking fantastic."

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