603645 280 preview?ITEM ENT ID603645&ampITEM VERSION3&ampCOLLSPEC ENT ID10&ampFILE SERVICE CONF ID280 - Rooney revels in frontline competition
Wayne Rooney believes the competition for striking berths can only be a good thing for Manchester United.
With Rooney now recovered from the gashed thigh he suffered against Fulham last month, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson now has five top international forwards to select from ahead of Saturday evening's Barclays Premier League encounter with Tottenham.
It says something that perceived first-choice pairing Rooney and Robin van Persie have yet to start a game together this season, yet still United have managed to move their way into second spot, just behind early pace-setters Chelsea.
However, with a tricky Capital One Cup tie against Newcastle already negotiated, a Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj to come on Tuesday before a Premier League rematch with the Magpies next Sunday, Rooney realises there is plenty of work for everyone.
"There is a lot of competition up front, but that is great for the squad," said Rooney.
"The manager will rotate when he feels it is necessary.
"There are a lot of games throughout the season. It means we can get a rest here and there to make sure we are ready for the big games towards the end."
Rooney occupied a deep-lying role against Newcastle, which allowed him to exploit gaps behind Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.
Very effective the 26-year-old was too, although whether it is a policy Ferguson would be prepared to persevere with in the Premier League is open to debate.
Rooney is not complaining though.
After being dropped against Fulham, then getting trodden on by Hugo Rodallega when he was finally introduced, it feels like the season is starting again.
"It does feel like the start of my season," he said.
"It was a freak injury and whilst it wasn't too bad, I had to be careful when I came back training and in games because it could open up again.
"There is only so much you can do in the gym. You need that training and game time to get you to your full sharpness.
"I am glad to be over it and back playing."