Ferguson hails 'fantastic' and 'mature' Rooney

Updated: 12 September 2011 15:09 IST

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney's new-found maturity has been key to the striker's lightning start to the season.

London:

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney's new-found maturity has been key to the striker's lightning start to the season.

Rooney has become only the fourth player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in back-to-back games when he netted a treble in Saturday's 5-0 win at Bolton.

The England striker has now taken his tally to eight goals in four matches, more than 18 Premier League clubs have so far managed, and drawn level with Sir Bobby Charlton on seven three-timers for the club.

It is a far cry from Rooney's poor form of 12 months ago, and Ferguson believes the trigger has been his number one striker's new-found maturity.

"When players get to their mid-20s, there is more thought in their game. Their timing is better. Wayne's presence is good and he is looking fantastic," said Ferguson.

United top the table on 12 points, with only superior goals difference keeping them ahead of Manchester City.

Ferguson will be hoping Rooney hits the spot against Benfica in their opening Champions League match of the campaign in Lisbon on Wednesday, when United will also aim to extend their 18-month unbeaten away record in the competition.

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