Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: 'We're Well Set in Title Race' Devils Star Happy with Progress after Win over Boro

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: 'We're Well Set in Title Race' Devils Star Happy with Progress after Win over Boro

Article excerpt

WAYNE Rooney believes Manchester United are well placed in a three-horse race for the Barclays Premier League title.

After Monday night's 1-0 win against Middlesbrough, Sir Alex Ferguson's side are seven points behind leaders Liverpool with two matches in hand, both at home, to Wigan and Fulham.

England international Rooney is looking forward to the run-in against their north west rivals and Chelsea.

"I think we are in a good position. We would have liked to have played those two matches in hand but we've got them to come," he said. "If we can get some good results in those games we would be in a really good position.

"You can never write Arsenal off and they are a good team and Aston Villa are doing well as well but in the end I think it will be down to one of the top three."

So far United are not showing any after-effects from their trip to Japan earlier this month where they lifted the Fifa Club World Cup, having won both league matches 1-0 since their return.

However, Dimitar Berbatov's solitary goal against Middlesbrough last night was only the club's fourth in their last six league matches.

But despite converting just one of an incredible 25 chances against Gareth Southgate's side, Rooney believes it is only a matter of time before United start firing on all cylinders again.

"I thought we played well, created a lot of chances and could have scored four or five goals," said Rooney.

"If those chances go in everyone speaks differently. If we don't score it is a worry but we got the goal that mattered."

Ferguson warned his players after the match that they have to start turning their dominance into goals on a more regular basis if they do not want to slip up in their attempts to haul in the top two.

Chelsea have scored 40 times in 20 matches and have a goal difference of +31, well in excess of their two main rivals.

Rooney admits it is something which the players are conscious of and are trying to rectify.

"Of course we want to score more goals. Going into the last game of the season last year we were in a situation where goal difference could have won the league," he added.

"We want to try to get our goal difference up but this stage of the season is a difficult period and you are just looking to get those points on the board. …

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