Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has called recent criticism of his performances “rubbish,” and has vowed to continue giving his best for the team.
United lost three successive games, to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford, before their midweek win at Northampton in the EFL Cup.
Some observers have questioned whether 30-year-old Rooney, who is just three goals short of equaling Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time United record of 249, is still worth his place in the side.
Rooney, 30, has suffered increased criticism as he struggles to find an ideal role within Jose Mourinho’s team. Though the England international says he’s not paying it any attention.
But asked about the critics, Rooney has thrush off the critics.
“I think I’ve had that [criticism] my whole career — a little bit more of late, I think, but that’s football,” Rooney told United’s website on Thursday.
“I listen to my coaches and my teammates, 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.”
There has also been debate about Rooney’s best position. Former manager Louis van Gaal sometimes deployed Rooney in a midfield role but new boss Jose Mourinho prefers to have him further forward.
“I’ve done that (played in different positions) throughout my career. 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,” Rooney explained.
United were largely outplayed by City in the recent derby, despite a final scoreline of 2-1, and the side from the Etihad Stadium have made a superb start to the season.
Rooney, however, is relishing the prospect of another derby clash next month after the sides were drawn in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
He said: “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.”