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Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 12:27:01 AM
Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 12:27:12 AM
Manchester United's manager David Moyes reacts ahead of their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northern England, October 5, 2013. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis
(Reuters) - England's World Cup qualification can provide a lift for Manchester United, manager David Moyes said on Friday as the Premier League champions seek an improvement on the stuttering start to their title defence.
United's squad boasts several England internationals including Wayne Rooney, who scored the opener against Poland on Tuesday which helped secure the spot at Brazil 2014, and Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck who all featured.
Asked if the players' national team success could be a boost for the club, Moyes put aside his feelings as a Scotsman towards English success.
"Yeah, well we have a lot of England internationals who play for Manchester United and that's pleasing as I'm sure it's a big boost for them and a big boost for the country as well," he told a news conference.
United, who won a 20th league title last term, have had a bumpy start to the season after Moyes took over from long-serving and highly successful manager Alex Ferguson, and they sit ninth in the table with 10 points from seven games.
One of the main positives among an otherwise uninspiring opening spell has been the form of Rooney, who has scored five goals in his last six United games and netted in both England's final two World Cup qualifiers this month.
The 27-year-old has put behind him an unsettled period of bench warming and speculation over his Old Trafford future to deliver for his club and country.
"I saw Wayne on that first day of pre-season ... I saw him in great form and great fettle, his training was fantastic from day one, but you people (British press) wanted to write or say different things," Moyes said.
"He takes responsibility, scores the goals that are required and he's done that from a young age.
"The age he is now, he's got that maturity and it shows in how he plays and the condition he is in with the way he is playing for both club and country."
United host surprise packages Southampton in the league on Saturday at the start of a run of four successive home matches featuring a Champions League encounter with Real Sociedad, a league game against Stoke and a League Cup match against Norwich.
Moyes knows only too well Old Trafford is not the fortress it once was with his side having slumped to a 2-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion in their last home match.
"They are all dangerous, we had a really difficult game against West Brom ... it can happen, we've got to make sure we're on our game," he said.
"It doesn't matter who you are ... you've got to be at the best in every game. The Premier League is quite quick to show you up."
United are four points adrift of Saturday's visitors, who are in fourth place having lost just one league game.
(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by Ed Osmond)
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