Two consecutive Premier League draws could not diminish David Moyes' praise for Wayne Rooney, who scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season for Manchester United at Tottenham on Sunday.
Rooney played in the same number nine role he started in against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, as he struck twice to level for the champions.
"He played well again," Moyes cooed. "He deserves the adulation he's getting. He's playing well, scoring goals, when the moments come, he's taking them. He was very good again today.
"His performances have been great and he's worked incredibly hard."
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Although United failed to win for a third time in the league without Robin van Persie, Rooney's importance to the club has grown this season in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.
The 28-year-old's contract expires in 18 months, but Moyes is unaware of any planned negotiations.
"I don't really know," the Scot responded when asked about a It's fine, we're just moving on from the summer and I think it'll get done in good course and the appropriate people will talk when the time is right.
Tottenham's 6-0 battering at Manchester City a week ago contributed to a spirited display from the hosts at White Hart Lane, as United struggled to contend with their domineering three-man midfield.
Moyes accepted United lacked authority without the injured Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs, who was not even on the substitutes' bench after playing 90 minutes against Bayer Leverkusen.
"Tottenham had their own pride, which they showed today in their performance. But United have to win," Moyes stressed.
"This was always going to be a tough game. We let ourselves down in the 89th minute at Cardiff but we've got two home games now after three games on the bounce. We've picked up two draws. Not ideal, but not the worst."
On Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones' presence in midfield, he added: "We were aware of that [lack of authority] today. But they're two England internationals and they're both fine young players. One's 21 and the other's about 24 now."
United now trail Premier League leaders Arsenal by nine points. The champions entertain Everton and Newcastle United next week before ending their Champions League group stage with the visit of Shakhtar Donetsk a week Tuesday.
"We're concerned that we're not as close as we'd like to be," Moyes admitted. "We've still got room to progress and get better but hopefully we'll be there or thereabouts."