Sir Alex Ferguson hails Wayne Rooney's midfield masterclass

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Ferguson happy with Rooney position switch

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Wayne Rooney's masterclass in an unfamiliar, central midfield role against Otelul Galati.

Rooney was man of the match in United's 2-0 win at Old Trafford that moved them to the top of Champions League Group C.

Ferguson said: "He was our best player. He showed great awareness of that role.

"His selection of passes at times was very good and he showed great energy and determination. We got a really good performance out of him."

The England striker had played in a withdrawn position in Saturday's 1-0 win at Everton and found himself alongside Anderson for the match against Otelul.

The chance to play in central midfield came because of injuries to Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley, while Darren Fletcher is working his way back to fitness.

Rooney responded by dictating from deep. His long diagonal pass started the build-up to Antonio Valencia's eighth-minute goal and he rounded off a laboured team performance with a deflected goal seven minutes from time.

Ferguson added: "It was an option for us and a good option because he has all the qualities you need to be a central midfield player.

"The first thing you have to say about him is that he receives the ball very well. He is aided by the fact he plays in a forward role, when receiving the ball is more of an issue, but that was an advantage for him [against Otelul]."

Rooney said: "I feel I'm a good enough footballer to play anywhere on the park. That's not being big-headed. I feel I am capable of doing that. If the manager wants me to play there, I have no problem in doing that."

United's 2-0 win put them top of Group C on goal difference from Benfica, who visit Old Trafford on 22 November.

Ferguson said: "We've won the game and it has put us in the position where, if we win that, we've won the group so that is the incentive for us.

"Given the history between both clubs [us and Benfica] it should be a good night, a good atmosphere, a really big game and we can look forward to that one."

The only downside was an injury to Michael Owen, who lasted only 10 minutes before limping off. "It's a blow for the lad. He's done a thigh muscle and it's a complete freak," said the United manager.

"It was a fantastic run to get to Phil Jones' cross. He took all the defenders with him and it left a simple tap-in for Antonio.

"It's a tragedy, I feel for him. It's difficult to say how long-term it is. We'll have to assess him."

Owen tweeted: "Gutted about my injury. Felt my left quad as I reached out to try and score prior to Valencias goal. Was really looking forward to playing."

He added: "Just hope it's not too serious and I'm back in action soon. Won't get too down. Lads got an important win to put us top of our group."

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