Solskjaer offers insight to Rooney's form - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Solskjaer offers insight to Rooney's form

Wayne Rooney is scoring goals through sheer instinct, according to former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Rooney netted his 28th goal of the season on Sunday to seal United's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in the Carling Cup final at Wembley.

The England forward has already surpassed his previous best haul for a campaign and Solskjaer believes Rooney is now reaching the point where he can hit the back of the net without thinking even about it.

"Whenever you see a striker scoring goals you are happy for him and Wayne has really put practice in," said Solskjaer, who played up front for United for 11 years until 2007.

"He has really worked on the training ground on repeating himself. That is what it is all about as a striker, getting your repetition in and then acting on instinct rather than having to think about it when you get on the pitch."

Rooney appears to have added yet another facet to his game in recent weeks, with the winner against Villa the fifth consecutive goal he has scored with his head.

It has come as little surprise to Solskjaer, who has observed the 24-year-old's development since Rooney joined United in 2004 and believes he has long had the makings of a complete player.

"He has got a good leap in him - he is explosive, he has the physical attributes and now it's about getting in the positions," Solskjaer said of Rooney's heading credentials.

"He has had the chances before and when you start scoring goals, you get one, then another one and that confidence and belief (comes) that you are going to score more.

"He gets into position more often, and sometimes he doesn't get the ball, but when he does he is capable of finishing.

"He has always been an all-round player for me - he can attack, he can defend, he can pass it, run with it, dribble.

"He is a manager's dream and he is hungry to win.

"He just wants to win and he loves football. That is what is so great about it - there is no hidden agenda."

Last weekend's triumph saw United collect their 32nd major trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Solskjaer - who Ferguson signed for the club in 1996 - believes the manager will have already put it behind him in order to focus on the other prizes still up for grabs this season.

"For every trophy that he gets, he just says to himself that he wants another one," said Solskjaer.

"I think that is what drives him on. Some players or managers say 'I am happy now I have won something, now I can rest happily', but the manager just wants another one, and another one.

"The Carling Cup is history now and we have two more trophies to fight for."

Currently second in the Barclays Premier League and holding a 3-2 advantage over AC Milan after the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, United could still be on for a treble this season.

Ferguson's hunger for silverware has shown no signs of abating and it is something he continues to demand from the staff and players around him.

Asked if he found the manager's desire rubbing off on him, Solskjaer - now the reserve-team coach at United - said: "Of course it does, because you see how successful he has been, how he goes about his business and you know that is the recipe for success.

"He wants people around him that are just as hungry as him and want to make United the best team in the world, and that is what we are striving for every day."

:: Solskjaer was talking at the launch of the "Something to Chew On" healthy eating campaign for schools, a programme being delivered by all 12 Guinness Premiership rugby union clubs and run in partnership with the Manchester United Foundation.

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