Sir Alex Ferguson has been encouraged by the return to peak form of Manchester United stalwart Paul Scholes.

The former England international missed three months earlier in the season through injury and has been striving to tap into his best form.

But his display in last week's 3-0 win over Liverpool drew the plaudits from his manager, who expects the midfielder to play a key role in the team's quest for trophies.

"Last Sunday to me was a great sign for me in terms of the confidence of the team, the composure they showed in the game, I thought it was really top class and what was most rewarding for me in the game was the form of Paul Scholes," said Ferguson on Sky Sports News.

"After three-and-a-half months he was taking his time to get back to the real Paul Scholes form. Last Sunday to me he was head and shoulders above everyone on the pitch. I thought he was magnificent.

"That gives us great confidence for the next few weeks with Scholes' form."