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Rooney Targets Quick Return After All-clear

Wayne Rooney is ready to ease Man-chester United\'s injury worries and declare himself fit for the trip to Southampton on Monday.

Published: 04th December 2014 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2014 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Rooney-AP

Wayne Rooney is ready to ease Man-chester United's injury worries and declare himself fit for the trip to Southampton on Monday.

Rooney has undergone a scan on a knee injury he sustained in United's victory against Hull City last weekend and although that was considered a precaution, the club's bad luck with injuries this season inevitably prompted concern.

The England striker was forced to sit out United's 2-1 win against Stoke City on Tuesday because of the injury. But the club captain was given the all?clear from any serious damage and is already thinking of returning to training.

Rooney hopes to declare himself fit for the visit to the St Mary's Stadium as United seek to consolidate their top-four place and close the gap on the leaders.
Louis van Gaal's side have won their past four league fixtures and, according to defender Chris -Smalling, are starting to regain the swagger last seen during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign. "It felt like the old times," Smalling said of the club's latest victory.

"We are really dominating games and creating a lot of chances. It is a happy place at the minute. We have had two good performances where we have played some good football. If we can keep this run going I think we will get better."

Smalling believes that United's upturn is especially encouraging given how often the manager has been forced to reshape his line-up. "In quite a lot of the games we have had to make so many changes but we are starting to get a good number of players that are starting to play regularly. I think it is showing. After the Arsenal game the next target was six points out of these two games and we have done that.

"Now we will work hard for the rest of the week because we have got two big games next week and put us up there with the boys around us.

"It's a good position considering the start we had as well, which was not the best and we have still managed to keep ourselves up there. We know we have got a chance and it is down to us to make sure we stay there. At the moment we are in such a good run of form. We have got that belief back. I think we can go to Southampton and win."

Marouane Fellaini is among those whose confidence has been rebuilt under Van Gaal and the Belgian is not giving up on catching leaders Chelsea. "We have to wait for a mistake," Fellaini said. "I don't think we played a great game against Stoke but we won, which was the most important thing. It's good for us, good for the confidence. We have to continue like that.

"We all know each other a lot better now, we know the manager and the staff so we know the philosophy of the manager. I feel a little bit tired as I am starting to play every game so I feel the fatigue, but I have to rest and work hard again."

United will be tested on Monday at Southampton, who are in third on the Premier League table, and then by their old rivals Liverpool the -following weekend, but their midfielder Juan Mata believes that the new-found team spirit can continue.

"We have not been lucky with injuries, we've had important players that could not play, but the spirit is there," the Spain international, who scored United's winner after 58 minutes, said. "Everyone was very happy in the dressing room after the Stoke game because it was a difficult game and we showed character."
 
"It was very tough and we were, until the last minute, suffering. They played good in their way. They came here as a very compact team and they play good counter-attacks. At the end, it's a very important win, a fourth win in a row and we are getting closer."



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