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Rooney gets Cluj run-out to aid fitness

WAYNE ROONEY will not be getting a night off this evening even though Alex Ferguson acknowledges it is his defence that have most to do ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby.

In the belief Rooney's fitness levels drop when he misses a game, the Manchester United forward will start tonight's Champions League dead-rubber with CFR Cluj at Old Trafford.

More than once this season, Ferguson has raised the issue of Rooney's fitness. Even though the England man's most recent absence with tonsillitis only amounted to two games off last month, Ferguson is not intending the 27-year-old to gets a rest tonight.

"Wayne needs to play a lot of games to get his match-fitness up," he said. "He's a strongly built lad and when he misses two games it takes him three games to come back.

"It's the way he's always been.

"He'll play tonight and hopefully that brings him on further because Saturday was his best performance of the season."

But Saturday's 4-3 win at Reading was far more memorable for United's abysmal defending.

As has become almost customary, they conceded the first goal. This time though, they fell behind again, even after overturning the original deficit.

It means they have now conceded 32 goals this season, their worst performance for 11 years.

Ferguson admits it is a concern ahead of Sunday's crucial trip to Manchester City.

"If we perform like that on Sunday God knows what's going to happen to us," said Ferguson.

"Saturday was like Cartoon Cavalcade and when you see City have Balotelli, Dzeko -- really tall players -- it's going to be a big challenge."