Wayne Rooney
Manchester United's Rooney celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal against Sunderland from the penalty spotReuters

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is certain that his side will be able to make a top four finish in the Premier League this season following their 2-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday.

The 29-year-old, who found the nets for the first time in nine Premier League games, broke the deadlock (through a penalty) in the 66th minute before adding another in the closing minutes of the game, helping United climb back to third place in the table.

And the former Everton striker is confident that his side will be able to qualify for next season's Champions League if they remain focused in their remaining Premier League fixtures.

"There are a lot of teams in a good run of form and there are not many points between four or five teams," he told Sky Sports. "We have to concentrate on ourselves, pick up points and hopefully come May we're in the right position."

Despite admitting that he is happy to get back into the score-sheets, Rooney insists that he is more pleased to see his side make a comeback against Sunderland following their defeat at Swansea City last weekend.

"It's great to score, obviously, but the three points are more important," added the England striker. "After last week's defeat, it was important we came back with a good performance and a good result."

United were only able to find the nets after they were awarded a penalty following Sunderland's Wes Brown controversial sending off even though it was John O'Shea who committed the foul.

And the England striker, who admits that the Black Cats made it very difficult for United at times, feels that his side's patience helped them breach Sunderland's stubborn defence.

"Sunderland made it difficult at times with a lot of men behind the ball but we were patient. We moved the ball well and created chances so I think we deserved the three points," he said. "We knew that was the way they were going to play. They've been to other big teams this season and done well. They did the same, defending well and hitting on the break."

"But we were patient and when they did win the ball our defence was pushed right up, won the ball back quickly and then we could attack again. It was a good performance but more importantly a good three points," Rooney added.