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Ferdinand backing Rooney to return to form

Captain Rio Ferdinand insists England cannot afford to rely solely on Wayne Rooney for inspiration in their bid to qualify for Euro 2012.

Rooney has contradicted Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson in claiming he has not been troubled by an ankle problem this season.

But the goal touch for club and country continues to elude him after he ended an 11-month barren spell for England against Switzerland last month.

Rooney drew another blank in the goalless draw with group leaders Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday evening.

But Ferdinand felt his United team-mate played well and should not be singled out for England's failure to break down their opponents.

He said: "I think Wayne put in a good shift. Sometimes with strikers you just need that little bit of luck in front of goal.

"The ball didn't really fall for any of our strikers to get a clean chance so to pick out 'Wazza' would not be fair.

"The ball just didn't drop for us in their box. 'Wazza' is a great player but we can't be too reliant on him.

"Stevie G (Gerrard) showed glimpses and Adam Johnson as well. Theo Walcott before. There are players who can do the business."

Ferguson stated Rooney has been suffering from an ankle injury and he was not risked in United's last game at Sunderland 12 days ago.

But when asked about the state of his ankle after the Montenegro game, Rooney said: "I've had no ankle problem all season."

When asked why Ferguson had said otherwise, Rooney laughed and replied: "I don't know."

Rooney has managed only one goal for United - a penalty against West Ham - this season, but is confident his luck in front of goal will change.

He said: "You just have to keep working hard. I know I've been through this before and once one goal goes in, I am sure I will get more.

"If you don't score, and you have chances, you are disappointed. I want to score but I have got a lot of games left in the season. I am sure this run without scoring will end soon.

"I don't do anything different. I train as hard as I can every time I train and I do extra training every day and I've done that since I was a young boy.

"I'll keep doing my training and I'm sure the goals will come.

"I've missed a few games this season. I've played six or seven games this season including England.

"You just want to keep playing consistently now and keep working hard and I'm sure the goals will come."