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Senegal through but lose pair to suspension

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Fergie backs Rooney to bounce back

Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Wayne Rooney will soon emerge from his slump in front of goal and fire Manchester United towards Premier League glory.

• Blog: Five with a point to prove

Rooney has seen his place as United's leading marksman taken by summer signing Robin van Persie who has weighed in with 12 goals. In the same period, Rooney has netted on just three occasions.

The England star has been set back by injury and illness but Ferguson feels that once the 27-year-old gets a run of games under his belt, he will hit the goals trail again.

"I think he's going through a period that all strikers do," Ferguson, whose side face Reading, live on ESPN on Saturday, is quoted as saying in the Sun. "He's not scoring but it will change once he starts to score regularly. It will become better for him.

"He's missing bits of games, he was off with tonsillitis again and I think Wayne is the type of player, he can't miss games. The frame he's got, the type of person he is, he needs to play all the time."

Commenting on his summer recruit from Arsenal, Ferguson said: "Van Persie is, without doubt, an up-front player. I think the players are now starting to realise what a good player he is."

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