Fergie hopes for Rooney

Alex Ferguson hopes Wayne Rooney
can start enjoying the same run of form in front of goal as Dimitar Berbatov.

Berbatov bagged his third hat-trick
of the season in Manchester United’s 5-0 win over Birmingham at Old Trafford,
taking his tally for the season to 18.

That’s 15 more than Rooney, who is
struggling to convert all-action performances into goals. But Ferguson is happy
with his England striker’s contributions and believes the floodgates are set to
open. Nani and Ryan Giggs got the others.

He said: “We hope the goals are
going to come for Wayne — He is working his socks off. He produced some great
football today and his control from Edwin van der Sar’s kick for the fourth
goal was fantastic.”

It was Berbatov who took the
plaudits from a victory that consolidated United’s place at the top of the
table and extended their unbeaten run this season to 22 matches.

And Fergie believes the Bulgarian
could have been even more successful, adding: “It was a marvellous performance
from Dimitar. “He could have scored more. We were a bit wasteful with our
finishing at times but you can’t complain at the performance.”

For Birmingham manager Alex McLeish
the mauling was not the ideal way to prepare for Wednesday’s Carling Cup semi-final
decider with West Ham.

McLeish felt his side paid the
price for adopting an attacking approach, although he admitted Birmingham’s
wounds were self-inflicted.

He said: “To lose a goal to a
set-piece in the first minute was criminal. We did have a spell after that when
we started to get in their final third but to concede again just before
half-time was verging
on the amateur.”