Wayne Alex
Ferguson believes Rooney has time on his side to beat "all types of records" held by Manchester United legends Reuters

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels striker Wayne Rooney can break the club's all-time leading goal scorer record, among several other milestones.

The 26 year old, who netted a brace in last weekend's 4-0 home win over Aston Villa, now has 178 goals for the Red Devils in all competitions and his next strike will put him level with George Best and Dennis Viollet, who are joint-fourth on the club's list. Former England and United legend Sir Bobby Charlton tops the chart with 249 goals.

"He is only 26. He's got time on his side to beat all types of records now. What did Bobby get, 249? He's every chance of beating that, hasn't he? I'm sure he will do it," Fifa.com quoted the manager as saying.

"Wayne is the one player who has scored regularly for us this season. I always felt a few years back that he was a player who got goals in clutches but now it evens itself out, which is good. He got two for us last Sunday and his goal scoring record is terrific," Ferguson added.

United host Everton on Sunday as they try to go eight points clear of rivals Manchester City in the title race and the Scot is rooting for the striker to continue his goal scoring form against his old club.

"I've always said that Rooney is a player who plays on the edge. He likes the edge of a big game and it's a big game on Sunday," Ferguson stressed.

Meanwhile, Rooney's fellow striker Michael Owen has only made one league appearance for United this season, having been out injured since November. However, the 32 year old has now regained his fitness and Ferguson hopes he can give Owen some playing time in the final few matches.

"We want to try and get Michael back. If he continues his training for the next week, he would certainly be under consideration for the important games coming up because he can score important goals at any stage of a match. He has been very unlucky. But for those injuries, who is to say what kind of career he would have had in terms of goals in particular," the United manager added.