Wayne Rooney believes he has rediscovered his best form as Manchester United head into the climactic stages of a season that sees the club chasing an unprecedented second treble.
Rooney, outstanding in both legs of United's UEFA Champions League quarter-final victory over Chelsea, told Talksport radio that he was revelling in his new role as a withdrawn striker.
"I am delighted with my form," said Rooney. "As everyone clearly knows, it's been a tough season for me but from the turn of the year I have been really pleased with my form.
"I have started to score goals again. I am playing a different position now and I am really enjoying it. I am getting on the ball, getting involved and feel I can dictate the game from the position I am playing."
Rooney had been struggling with a protracted slump in form ever since he was injured in last year's Champions League quarter-final, an injury that also led to a dismal contribution to England's ill-fated FIFA World Cup™ campaign.
That was followed by allegations about his private life before he later threatened to quit Old Trafford, accusing the Premier League leaders of lacking ambition.
Last week Rooney was banned for two matches after swearing into a television camera following his hat-trick in United's 4-2 win over West Ham United.
Although Rooney had contested the sanction, he told Talksport he now accepted his expletive-laden outburst was wrong, which he said occurred after his emotions got the better of him.
"I didn't realise what I'd done," Rooney said. "It was just emotions. It was a release of scoring the three goals to get us back in the game. As soon as I realised after the game, I apologised as soon as I could.
"Of course it was wrong of me to do but I accept my punishment and you just have to move on. Hopefully the boys can pull through for me on Saturday and hopefully get to that FA Cup final," said Rooney, whose two-match suspension rules him out of Saturday's semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley.