Football Football

Rooney credits Moyes with improved fitness


ROONEY-CHELSEALONDON, September 19 – Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney says that new manager David Moyes’s “intense” training sessions have helped him rediscover his touch on the pitch.

Rooney missed almost of all United’s pre-season campaign through injury and was then ruled out of the 1-0 loss to Liverpool prior to the international break with a facial wound.

However, he has looked sharp since returning to action, netting a free-kick against Crystal Palace at the weekend before notching his 199th and 200th United goals in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Having been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea during the close season, the 27-year-old England forward says he is now just focusing on playing as well as possible.

“I’ve put my head down and worked hard and tried to do everything right,” Rooney said, in comments reported by several British newspapers on Thursday.

“I’ve tried to show the right attitude. I’ve always felt that’s a really important thing to do. That’s paying off for me on the pitch. I feel fit and ready to do well.

“I feel good. I’ve had some good training the last few weeks. It’s been stop-start with the injuries, but I’ve just kept my head down and worked hard and now I’ve played and got some goals.

“I feel great. The training is a bit different under the new manager. I remember it from Everton — it’s more intense. That’s helping me. I feel good and am glad to be out playing.”

Rooney came to prominence under Moyes as a teenager at former club Everton and says he is happy to have been reunited with the Scot at Old Trafford.

“He’s a great manager and thoroughly deserves this job because of what he did at Everton,” Rooney said.

“It’s good to work under him and hopefully be successful together.”

Rooney also dismissed claims that he has an uneasy relationship with Robin van Persie, who superseded him as United’s attacking spearhead last season after arriving from Arsenal in 2012.

“Robin and me dovetail well and try and help each other score goals,” Rooney said.

“I’ve seen things said over the summer, but me and Robin are friends off the pitch. There’s no problem between us at all. We’re great friends and want to help each other be successful.”

He added: “The times when Robin and I played together last season we did well. So hopefully we can play more together this season. We’ve done the work together.

“The manager has made it clear he wants one up and one behind. Whatever way round it is doesn’t matter, as long as one is always filling in behind and helping out the midfield.”