Manchester United manager David Moyes reckons Wayne Rooney had still to find his best form despite his impressive recent displays for the English champions.
The England striker returned from a severe gash to the head by scoring three goals in a week including two in Tuesday's Champions League victory against Bayer Leverkusen, a double that saw him become only the fourth United player to reach a tally of 200 goals for the club.
Rooney's recent goal-spree had led to speculation United may offer the 27-year-old forward a contract extension with former manager turned club director Alex Ferguson, praising his work on Thursday.
Moyes, who oversaw the start of Rooney's professional career when Everton manager, was coy about the forward's future, saying Friday ahead of Sunday's derby against Manchester City: "I think we just go step by step.
"If he could score another two goals at the weekend that would be the next step forward wouldn't it?
"He's played really well and we want him to maintain that. If anything I'm asking him to step up again. I want him to keep getting better."
Moyes added: "Wayne was in great shape just before he damaged his hamstring in Thailand. I told you (the media) that but I don't know if you all believed me.
"We thought (his hamstring) was going to be okay, but it wasn't," the Scottish manager explained. "We kept him working really hard and he was in really good shape.
"I was really impressed with the condition he was in and the work he did in pre-season.
"He is getting the fruits of that. He's worked hard and is showing everyone exactly what he can do."