David Moyes says Wayne Rooney should be aiming to score 30 goals this season and also insists he should form a formidable partnership with Robin van Persie after a summer when the England striker agitated for a move away from Old Trafford.

Playing with a headband to protect the wound that had ruled Rooney out since last month the 27-year-old registered his opening strike of the season in United's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday. After an impressive curling free-kick Rooney saluted the crowd who have continued to support him despite his wish to leave.

And Moyes believes the 81st-minute strike provided a significant point in his return. "I think that is right " he said. "It has been so stop-start through pre-season to get him to this situation. I think that for him it was a big moment. It was a great free-kick as well. The ability to get the ball up and down over the wall quickly was good."

Last season Rooney managed 16 goals for United a modest return that reflected Sir Alex Ferguson dropping him and playing him out of position. But with Moyes clear that Rooney will not be played in midfield as his predecessor did he is targeting 30 goals for the forward. "I will try to do that. I think Wayne's aim will be to do that as well. Hopefully we can make that happen" he said.

Moyes believes Rooney and Van Persie can be a pairing opponents will fear. "The hope is that we get a partnership where folk are saying 'My goodness we are having to play against Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney'. Everybody is looking to see if those two form a partnership that can score lots of goals. I have to say I have also got Chicharito [Javier Hernández] and Danny Welbeck. Danny has made a great start to the season."

Moyes will resist the temptation to deploy Rooney in midfield. "Not just now. I can only see Wayne playing up top and playing as a forward for us" he said. "He has scored a lot of goals. It was down last year. But to be successful you need to have people who can score you 20 goals. I am hoping with Robin and Wayne you have two there who you would say they have it in them to do that. It was also good for us that Robin scored. A good start."