Wayne Rooney says that he is continually inspired by Sir Alex Ferguson, with the striker insisting that while the Manchester United legend is intimidating, he knows exactly how to handle each of his players.

Rooney had said at the beginning of last season that he wanted to leave the Red Devils because he felt the side had lost the ability to attract big names.

But Ferguson talked the England international out of the move, and a year and a half on Rooney couldn't be more thankful that the Scot kept him at United.

"He is a great manager," he told Fifa's official website. "He knows which players he can speak to and which players he can shout at, if he needs to.

"He knows how the players react and how to get the best out of them. That's important especially in this day and age.

"His mentality for the game, his commitment and desire are obviously things that the players try and take on themselves. For me personally, he's been brilliant. He is a great leader for our team."

United are two points behind Manchester City in the Premier League table, and though the side are relying on their cross-town rivals to slip up, Rooney has a firm belief that so long as his side keep winning, anything is possible.

"We are only a couple of points behind and we have a lot of games to go. We are confident that we can push on now, and start being a bit more consistent towards the end of the season."

That consistency will need to continue this weekend, with United facing third-placed Tottenham on Sunday.