MANCHESTER: ‘Rubbish’ is how Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has described criticism of his form this season.
United have suffered three defeats in their last four games, with Rooney playing the full 90 minutes in losses to Manchester City and Watford.
Although Rooney is just three goals short of equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time United record of 249, critics have suggested he should be taken out of the side, with Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both having performed well this season.
However, the 30-year-old has insisted he is used to being under such scrutiny and will not let negative talk surrounding him affect his performances.
“I think I’ve had that my whole career – a little bit more of late, I think, but that’s football,” Rooney told MUTV.
“I listen to my coaches and my team-mates, the people around me, and I don’t really listen to what a lot of people out there are saying because a lot of it is rubbish.
“I have to focus, work hard, of course, and I’ve done that throughout my career. I’ve worked hard and tried to do my best for the team.”
Former United boss Louis van Gaal often deployed Rooney in a deeper midfield role last season, while Roy Hodgson also played Rooney in central midfield for England at Euro 2016. Although Rooney believes he can play anywhere he is well aware of where Mourinho sees him fitting into the United team.
“I’ve done that [played in different positions] throughout my career,” he said. “I feel I can play in all positions but I think the manager has made it clear either I’ll play up front or in the number 10 [role] and that’s where he sees me playing.”
Mourinho will face rival Pep Guardiola again on October 26, after United were drawn against Manchester City in the League Cup fourth round, and Rooney is relishing the opportunity to play in another derby.
Rooney added: “For me, I think it’s the perfect draw. With what happened in the league, it’s a chance for us to get revenge for that result.”