Too soon to call title - Rooney
Published 07/02/2013 | 16:03
Wayne Rooney does not intend to start assessing Manchester United's Premier League title credentials until the finishing post is in sight.
United have a built up a formidable nine-point lead over Manchester City with their win at Fulham last weekend. But with an Old Trafford encounter against Rooney's former club Everton on Sunday, whose fightback in the corresponding fixture last season blew the door open for City to be crowned champions, the 27-year-old is adopting a blinkered approach.
"Results are the most important thing now," he said.
"Look at Manchester City against QPR. They should have got the win, had a lot of chances but ended up dropping two points. That could quite easily have happened to us against Southampton the following night. It proves we have to keep picking up the points when we can.
"Once it comes down to the last four or five games, then we will see what position we are in and work out what we have to do."
The fact Ferguson gave the green light to Rooney completing the full 90 minutes of England's victory over Brazil suggests he may be spared further exertion this weekend, although, as the forward pointed out, he is not the only one at United who gets their hands dirty when the graft has to be done.
"We don't have anyone who doesn't want to do the work," he said. "We all look at the statistics after the game to see how much running we have done and are well aware of everything we do. There is no hiding place with all the technology and stuff."
Ferguson has still not forgotten how his side twice established a two-goal cushion against Everton last season and were unable to close out the contest. It has been a similar story this term, only United have generally found a way to squeeze out a succession of unconvincing victories.
Rooney has no answer to a conundrum Ferguson has grown increasingly sick of trying to find a solution to. However, while he, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez in particular continue to find the net on a regular basis, the damage should not be too extensive.
"I can't put my finger on why we are not killing teams off," said Rooney. "We have scored plenty of goals. It is the most we have scored at this stage of the season. We have conceded too many and have done throughout the season. But that is the way we have been set up to play. We have to just keep our scoring going."