• Premier League

Beat Arsenal and we're back in the title race - Rooney

ESPN staff
November 6, 2013 « McCoy seals landmark 4,000th win | Chartbeat test »
ESPN FC: United stuck in neutral

Wayne Rooney is confident that Manchester United can haul themselves back into the title race by beating league leaders Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The England striker draws comfort from United's excellent recent record of nine victories and only one defeat in their last 12 matches against the Gunners.

And while Arsene Wenger's team have won eight of their last nine Premier League games, Rooney said they still had to prove they could sustain their challenge over an entire season.

The 28-year-old told reporters after the 0-0 Champions League draw at Real Sociedad: "We're obviously capable of beating Arsenal.

"We've done it many times in the past. They're on a good run of form at the moment and are top of the league, so we know it's going to be a difficult game.

"But we have to go into that game confident, believing we can edge closer to them and bring us back into the mix of being at the top of the league."

Arsenal have not been champions since 2004, and Rooney is not getting carried away by their flying start. He added: "We'll wait and see where they are in March.

"We've seen before that they've been in the top two until February or March and then faded away, so it's down to them to try and stay there. They're doing brilliantly at the minute and it's up to us to catch them."

United will kick off eight points behind the Gunners, but David Moyes' team have won their last two league games and are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions.

And while they made their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, Rooney believes they have plenty of time to recover.

He explained: "There have only been ten games gone so there's no big worry at the moment. We're starting to do well. If we can get the victory on Sunday, then we're in a great position.

"We had a whole new set-up and different ideas from the manager. It's up to us to try and implement those ideas as best we can. It was a bit of a change, but we're starting to show the things that the manager wants.

"Eight matches unbeaten is a good run. We're confident at the minute, we're getting more clean sheets and we're playing with a freedom, if you like. We're just looking forward to every game now."

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