FOOTBALL NEWS

30/01/2014 14:56, Report by James Tuck

Duo's return cheers Neville

Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes the return of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will have a hugely positive effect on the squad.

Both the star strikers made their comebacks from injury in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Cardiff, Rooney replacing opening goalscorer van Persie just after the hour mark.

Neville believes the team’s recent struggles can largely be attributed to the absence of the pair, who haven’t started a match together since the 1-0 victory over Arsenal in November.

And the ex-skipper believes their return, as much as the arrival of Juan Mata, will provide a boost as the Reds seek a run of wins and climb the Barclays Premier League table.

Writing in his ambassador’s column for United Review before the Cardiff game, Neville said: "One of the biggest difficulties has been the absence of our two most clinical, ruthless players in attacking areas, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

"They have played nine times together this season and we won seven of those games and drew two. They give Manchester United a cutting edge and firepower and the concerns that everybody has at the moment will be alleviated once they return.

"They will give confidence to the rest of the squad, and the important thing now is that they dig in and push forward for the rest of the season and try to deliver the level of performance that they’re capable of as players."

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