Defence is best base for attack - Rooney

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Wayne Rooney is predicting Manchester United will become even more prolific now their first choice central defensive partnership is back in action.

Thanks to Rooney's efforts, United have so far been able to make light of lengthy absences for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic this season. Already the duo's recovery from back and nerve problems respectively has had an impact, with United keeping successive clean sheets for the first time since October.

And, ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League encounter with Fulham, Rooney told MUTV: "It is always difficult when your defenders are injured. We have used different defenders in different games but thankfully now Rio and Nemanja are back. It gives us more stability in defence and that should mean more opportunities to score."

Rooney took his tally to 30 for the season with his midweek brace against AC Milan, so it is little wonder Sir Alex Ferguson reacted with irritation on Friday when asked what he would do if the England striker got injured.

"I am not even thinking about that," Ferguson said. "Please, give me a break. Do you want to stick pins in us?"

Tempting fate or not, United tackle Fulham at Old Trafford knowing Rooney is pivotal to their hopes of glory.

A place in the last eight of the Champions League is already assured but it is a record 19th title - and an unprecedented fourth in a row - that is really driving Ferguson on.

"The record we are chasing is four titles in a row," he said. "That would be fantastic. It would be the 19th title. It would be the most in the league.

"It doesn't matter who you beat for that record, it's a record and we have got a chance."

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European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Nemanja Vidic
Wayne Rooney
Rio Ferdinand

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