Warnock said: “Wayne Rooney is the king in my eyes and that’s why Steve McClaren has to hope everything stays fresh with him and plays him in his best position.
“I can’t see a problem him playing behind that front man. That’s the best place for him. We’ve had all these different formations but, if you play Rooney behind there, then you’re going to score goals.
“Then you worry about the rest of the team when you pick whoever’s going to play. Build a team around Rooney.
“He’s had a few blows this summer but he’s only a young lad and people tend to forget that. He has responded in the right way.
“He has done it by working hard and taking his chances. When you are our best player in England and one of the best in the world it hurts when you get criticised and I think he’s answered that in the right way.”