Wayne Rooney has praised the manager who denied him a move to Chelsea, saying David Moyes’ training sessions have helped him return to his best and that he was the right choice to take over at Old Trafford.
The England striker’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson broke down at the end of last season when the former Manchester United manager left him out of the side and said he had submitted a transfer request.
And when Chelsea made offers for the 27-year-old in the summer, United rejected them and Moyes was adamant he would not let the unsettled forward leave.
And he hailed Moyes for his role in it, telling British national newspapers: “It’s obviously good to be working with him again. He’s a great manager and thoroughly deserves this job. Because of what he did at Everton.”
“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.”
Whereas Ferguson played Rooney in midfield at times or left him on the bench, Moyes has vowed to pick him in attack and made it clear he sees him as a first-choice player, even encouraging him to better his previous best campaign in terms of goals.
And in the last two games his first-choice strike duo of Rooney and Robin van Persie have contributed five goals, with the Merseysider getting three of them.
Rooney was quick to deny reports of a rift between them and believes they have proved they can gel on and off the pitch.
“I have seen things said over the summer but me and Robin are friends off the pitch," he added. "There is no problem between me and Robin at all. We are great friends and we want to help each other and be successful.
“I think the manager has made it clear that he wants one up and one behind and whatever way round that is it doesn’t matter to me.
"It doesn’t matter as long as one is always filling in behind and helping out the midfield. We have done the work together and the times we played together last season we did well so hopefully we can play more together this season and do well. We dovetail well and try and help each other score goals.”
Rooney is just the fourth player to register a double-century of goals for Manchester United and is now only 49 behind the club’s record scorer, Sir Bobby Charlton.
“It’s a massive football club and it’s amazing how long that record has stood for," he said. "So it’s great to get to 200. That’s a great honour and I’m really proud of that.
“To be edging closer to Bobby Charlton’s record is great for me.”