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Rooney: “Winning title harder now than under Fergie”

Manchester-United-v-Sunderland (3)Wayne Rooney has warned that Manchester United face their toughest ever challenge to a Premier League title this season.

Last week, United returned to the top of the table for the first time in over two years but Rooney believes winning the league is a much more difficult proposition now than it was at any stage during Sir Alex Ferguson’s era.

“It’s where we want to be, obviously,” he said.

“But it is a tough league and some very good teams.

“Now, there are no easy games. Perhaps six or seven years ago, there were games you knew you would win. But now, there are teams that have progressed. You have to be at your best to get the points.”

With Arsenal away on Sunday the first test of a potentially very difficult month – United travel to Goodison Park after the international break before hosting City – Rooney admits the stakes are high.

“It is harder for everyone,” he said.

“It is the team that has that good run of consistency and takes advantage of that. We know we’ve got some tough games coming up so we have to be focussed.

“You see some teams at the bottom of the league buying players for a lot of money. It makes it a better league, more competitive.

“Physically, you are pushing right to the end of games. In the past, you could be leading 3-0 or 4-0 and take foot off the gas, see it out and concentrate on the next game. Now, you must keep on to the end.”