One man stands between Villa and a United double
By Villa reporter
Tuesday 09 Feb 2010 23:07:00
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It seems one man stands between Villa and aa famous double over Manchester United on Wednesday night. And Martin O’Neill is torn between praise for Wayne Rooney – and the men who will be out to stop his terrific scoring run.

Rooney is in some of the best form of his life as the Red Devils head for Villa Park looking for revenge for MON’s team’s win at Old Trafford earlier in the season. A win would take Villa level on points with fourth and fifth-placed Liverpool and Man City.

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O’Neill can’t wait for the tussle and told the Birmingham Mail: ‘It is Manchester United in town and at the moment they are playing particularly strongly.

‘Rooney is in fantastic form. He has been an exceptional player for some time. He is probably playing the best he has ever played at the moment, scoring goals as well, which gives you a big boost of confidence.

‘He has been a real top quality player for the last four or five years. Has he stepped up after the loss of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo? It seems he has taken on even more responsibility and he is thriving on it.

‘Yet last season, when United wanted to play him wide right or wide left to help maybe stop the opposition from playing, Rooney was the first one to volunteer.

‘Now he (Sir Alex Ferguson) has got him playing basically as a centre-forward, either with Berbatov or on his own. He is up to the challenge and he is just a terrific footballer.

‘It will be hard to keep Manchester United at bay but we are going to try our very, very best and we are doing pretty well defensively.

‘This time last year, when we were without Martin Laursen, we would have been conceding a lot more goals. But I think the three lads coming in the last few days before the transfer dead-line in August (Collins, Dunne and Warnock) has given us a great boost.’

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