Manchester United legend Bryan Robson believes Sir Alex Ferguson's handling of Wayne Rooney's infamous night out last December could turn out to be the inspiration behind another Premier League title.

Ferguson has never explained why Rooney missed the New Year's Eve encounter with Blackburn. Rooney was at Old Trafford to watch United suffer a shock 3-2 defeat and it is thought he was not involved as a punishment for reporting for training earlier that week clearly unfit for work, a legacy of a night out with Darron Gibson and Jonny Evans.

Speaking ahead of the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester next week, Robson said: "The boss isn't interested in one individual. He is interested in the whole group. Not just his first-team squad but all the kids in the youth team and the reserve boys. It was a statement to say he would not stand for that type of behaviour. "

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