Rooney hails Kagawa

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WAYNE Rooney insists it has not been tough to block out the glamour of tomorrow night’s “special” date with Real Madrid.

Only after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Norwich did Manchester United’s players allow their minds to drift towards that glamour Champions League tie at Old Trafford.

For whilst United went into the meeting with Chris Hughton’s men 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson is demanding no loss of focus, or status, which Rooney feels was underlined by his team selection.

“It hasn’t been hard not thinking about Tuesday,” said Rooney.

“Norwich was a massive game for us and we wanted to extend the gap at the top of the league.

“The manager put a lot of experienced players out and made us aware it was more important.”

Shinji Kagawa’s hat-trick, the first by an Asian player in the Premier League, and Rooney’s last-minute piledriver ensured there were no unexpected slips.

So now United can train their thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo and company, who stand in the way of a quarter-final berth.

“It is going to be a special night,” said Rooney. “It is probably the two biggest clubs in the world and something we are all looking forward to.”

Kagawa has underlined why Ferguson bought him from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. “Shinji was fantastic,” said Rooney. “He keeps putting himself in positions where he can get a shot at goal or play someone in. He is cruel with his finishes.”