LVG keeps confidence in Rooney

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he remains confident in Wayne Rooney's abilities, and is happy to let him lead the line against Newcastle United.

The 29-year-old forward was a peripheral presence in United's opening Premier League matches against Tottenham and Aston Villa, both 1-0 wins, but offered an improved showing against Club Brugge in their 3-1 Champions League qualifying victory in midweek.

As the team prepares to face the Magpies at Old Trafford on Saturday, the Dutch boss believes that he can get the most out of the versatile Englishman by playing him as a striker.

"He knows my standards and he knows what I want from a striker," van Gaal said. "He thinks he can perform [in that position] and I think that also, otherwise I would not be playing him there.

"Wayne is a multi-functional player and I tried him in various positions last year. But I think that his best position is the striker's position and he agreed with that conclusion.

"I know that Wayne is very confident that he will score the goals that we expect from him and I share his confidence."