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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels Wayne Rooney may have been trying too hard to score - but will soon rediscover his touch in front of goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo can't stop scoring goals - he already has an amazing 27 goals to his credit this season. But another United forward - England 22-year old sensational teenage starlet Wayne Rooney - is on ten and looking for more.

However, his manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels Rooney may have been trying too hard in United's midweek victory over Portsmouth. And that might have worked against him adding to his goals total.

"We told him after the game he doesn't need to expend so much energy in midfield," said Ferguson.

"Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick were in control.

"Wayne worked too hard and that maybe cost him the opportunity to get goals.

"But he is doing fine. You wish every player you had showed that desire and appetite to play.

"It is a joy to see someone of his age play with so much enthusiasm.

"He just needs to control his energy - he will soon be banging in the goals again," added Ferguson, who believes United may have to avoud defeat between now and the end of the season if they are to retain the title they won last May.

Although United go into Saturday's game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on the back of a run of nine wins out of ten, they are ahead of Arsenal only on a superior goal difference of +5. And Chelsea, who have won their last nine matches in all competitions, are third, only four points adrift of the Red Devils.

With 14 matches to go, nine-times Premier League title winner Ferguson said: "I have to look at where the dangers are and say to myself will they go through the season undefeated as Chelsea and Arsenal have done in the past.

"I am taking nothing for granted. We may have to. It is getting very tight now."

He said he could do with a helping hand from the Africa Cup of Nations as he tries to beat Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Chelsea's Avram Grant to the finish line, admitting that he would love to see a final between host nation Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

That would keep key players from United's title rivals involved in the tournament for as long as possible, and thus deprive their club managers of their services for longer.

Arsenal pair Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue are playing for the Ivory Coast, as are Chelsea's Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou.

The Blues are also missing Michael Essien, Ghana's captain, and Ferguson said:

"It is my wish the Ivory Coast and Ghana make the final and keep the players occupied.

"Avram Grant and Arsene Wenger know fine well what I am hoping for. You have to be selfish in a case like this.

"Can you get a replay in the final of the African Nations Cup? That would be good!"

Changes For Tottenham Game?

The United boss is expected to make some changes to the side that beat Portsmouth 2-0 in midweek - United's fourth straight League win in January.

Ryan Giggs, Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves could be back to face Spurs, while Paul Scholes could keep his place after making his first start for three months against Ponpey following knee surgery.

Ferguson said: "When you see Scholes coming back and what he brings to a game, it is absolute joy.

"He makes so much time for himself. He brings order and composure to our play. That is a big bonus for us."

United knocked Spurs out of the FA Cup last weekend and are hoping to beat them again in what Ferguson expects will be an open game.

"There are usually goals there, so goodness knows what will happen.

"There is a wind of change at Tottenham - you saw that last Sunday.

"It looks as though Juande Ramos has changed certain things, including diet.

"That is something I noted when I came here and he is absolutely right in what he is doing."

I remembered that when the last time Fergie predicted Wazza to go on a goal-scoring spree, Rooney scored 7 goals in 8 games! :eek:
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