LONDON, England, April 28 – Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has admitted he was wrong to seek a transfer earlier this season after questioning whether the club was good enough to challenge for top honours.
Rooney stunned Old Trafford in October by agitating for a transfer, accusing the Premier League leaders of failing to match his ambitions and lacking the muscle to attract top signings.
But Rooney, who has played a key role in putting United within touching distance of their third Champions League final in four years as well as a record 19th title, has now conceded his criticisms of the club were wide of the mark.
"I made a mistake," Rooney told the Guardian.
"You know, when I look back at it now, I’ll say it again, how wrong was I? I’m willing to admit that. I’ve apologised and ever since then I have wanted to try to prove myself again to the fans. I feel I am doing that now."
Rooney eventually agreed a lucrative new deal at United but initially struggled to win back the support of fans after a prolonged slump in form.
However the 25-year-old won a standing ovation from United’s travelling fans during Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League semi-final first leg victory over Schalke 04, where he netted his 12th goal in 21 games since the turn of the year.
"I’m delighted with my form at the minute and I’m grateful to the fans for supporting me through (the transfer demands)," he added.
"I hope I’ve repaid the fans now. I certainly feel vindicated (for deciding to stay). It’s going to be a great end to the season if we can get to Wembley and win a Champions League final as well as the league."
"I am a lot happier in my life, a lot happier with the way I’m playing. It’s almost been like having to settle down again and I’ve done that now."