Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says that Wayne Rooney is the man who can fire his team to Premier League glory but other players must also step up and take responsibility. Rooney, who scored and provided two assists in United’s victory over Hull City on Sunday, has become the team’s principal goalscorer after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Wayne can step forward and be the main man but there are a few who have to step forward in that respect. We are coming to the time now. The challenge is there,” Ferguson said ahead of United’s Old Trafford fixture with Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.
“The league is so tight and teams are taking points off each other that you don’t expect. It means a consistent run from someone will give them a great chance.
“Our experience of run-ins is good. We know we can handle that part. The important thing is to beat Wigan tomorrow which would put us into the position I hoped we could get to, a couple of points off the leaders coming into New Year.
“Wayne was fantastic on Sunday [against Hull}. That was the Wayne Rooney we know. He had a quiet spell for two or three matches but he was explosive at Hull. He was a constant threat.
“That is the kind of form we are hoping for because when he is playing like that, he is hard to handle.”
Rooney has 14 goals in all competitions, Michael Owen seven and Dimitar Berbatov five. Youngster Danny Welbeck has two goals in the Carling Cup this season, while new signing Antonio Valencia has scored six in all competitions – the Ecuadorian’s best ever return. But Ferguson is concerned that United has become over-reliant on the former Evertonian this season.