Sir Alex Ferguson felt Paul Scholes set an example to follow as Manchester United breezed to a 3-0 win over Fulham.
Scholes was at his sumptuous best as he opened the scoring en route to a United victory which sent the reigning champions five points clear at the top of the table.
His range of passing dictated the tempo of the game and the midfield stalwart's manager was delighted with the ageing maestro's performance.
"I think getting the early goal always helps at home," Ferguson told Sky Sports, with Scholes' volley coming after 12 minutes. "It opened the game up for us.
"Scholes we have seen him do it many times, strike a ball like that.
"I thought his overall performance was a great example to any young player in terms of still keeping the desire to play, still wanting to be involved all the time.
"Every time we got possession, he was always wanting to be on the ball and his switches of play were absolutely fantastic, so I'm really delighted with his performance.
"I think that set the stall for us really his performance tonight and I'm pleased with the result."
No Rooney risks
Wayne Rooney marked his comeback from over five weeks out with a hamstring injury by returning as a substitute on the hour mark.
The striker made an immediate impact by scoring United's third goal and Ferguson believes the club have taken the right approach in not rushing Rooney back.
Ferguson added: "We didn't take any risks with Wayne. He had a little bit of a setback about 10 days ago and felt a bit of tightness in his hamstring.
"At this stage of the season we cannot take any risks, we have to make sure he's 100 per cent.
"I could have played him on Sunday, but I thought we'd wait a few days and we'd get the dividends of that.
"He will play on Saturday (against Blackburn) and then we'll assess whether he's ready for Tuesday (against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League)."