Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney will have an important role to play at Manchester United this season after claiming the striker is back to his best.
Rooney appeared set to leave United in the summer with reports that a fractured relationship with Ferguson - before his retirement at the end of last season - had been at the centre of his discontent.
Chelsea made bids for Rooney but the striker refused to hand in a transfer request before the end of the transfer window, indicating he may be happy to stay at Old Trafford in the longer term.Ferguson has now weighed in by underlining his support for the 27-year-old, who scored twice on Tuesday night as United opened their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
"Wayne's performance was fantastic, I was pleased to see that," Ferguson told MUTV. "He's got his energy back, the determination, his purpose to attack players, [it was] all very encouraging to me. Being a director I'm delighted to see that, he's back to what we always remember. We will have a fantastic chance [of success] because in [Robin] van Persie and Rooney you have forwards who can win you games."
Ferguson also offered his backing for David Moyes, who he has been in contact with since his start to life as his successor as United boss. The former Everton manager won the Community Shield to start his reign before overseeing a 4-1 win at Swansea in his first Premier League game in charge.
While a defeat at arch-rivals Liverpool followed, Ferguson believes United were unlucky that day. "I loved the Swansea game, United were terrific but the Liverpool game was agony," Ferguson said.
"I spoke to David about this after the Liverpool game. We've gone there over the years 20-odd times and played worse than that and won games and I can't believe the criticisms of United in that game. I thought David was right. We deserved more."