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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 23, 2008

Unrepentant Rooney refuses to change style

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has no intention of changing his game for anyone. Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello have spoken out in recent days, claiming Rooney spends too much time doing jobs that are not strictly connected with his role as United's sharp-shooter. During virtually every game, Rooney can be spotted chasing back to his own penalty area, making a lung-busting tackle to try and retrieve possession. While Ferguson is content the deficiency is nothing major, he does feel Rooney's energy could be better utilised elsewhere. Capello is of the same opinion and feels the 22-year-old should concentrate on terrorising opposition defences, but Rooney is content with the way he plays and does not believe any adaptation is required. 'I don't think I will ever lose my determination,' he said. 'It is something I have always had. If we are not winning I get frustrated. 'I don't like losing. If you are telling me that is wrong I won't believe you.' Rooney clearly feels his all-action style is based upon a natural competitive streak that comes to the surface when situations are starting to turn sour. However, it appears that does not extend to a burning desire to score at every opportunity. Although it often appeared Cristiano Ronaldo thought of himself first and others later as he amassed his incredible 42-goal tally last season, Rooney was happy to include assists in his contribution to a United season that ended in glory at home and abroad. 'I am a team player,' he said. 'Everyone is saying I should score more goals. But we won the league and Champions League last season - if that happens again I would be delighted. 'I certainly don't have any banter with Cristiano about who scores the most goals. 'Maybe he has a chat with the manager about it but I don't.' Rooney has kept his counsel on the furore that surrounded Ronaldo this summer. After his well-publicised dismissal against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup, the Merseysider has patched up his relationship with the winger. And he insists he would be delighted if, as expected, Ronaldo is eventually crowned world player of the year. 'Last season was unbelievable for Cristiano,' Rooney said. 'More than likely he will be named world player of the year and everyone at the club will be delighted for him. Hopefully he can score the same number of goals again.' Not that Ronaldo will be available for Monday's trip to Portsmouth, or for at least another month afterwards as he continues to battle back from ankle surgery. It means Rooney and Carlos Tevez will shoulder the attacking responsibility for United during the early weeks of the season, with untested youngsters Fraizer Campbell and Danny Welbeck providing the back-up if Ferguson fails in his attempts to land a new striker. The pursuit of Tottenham forward Dimitar Berbatov is continuing but Rooney knows he will have more to do should Ferguson's search ultimately prove fruitless. 'There would be an extra burden if we did not sign another striker,' Rooney added. 'Carlos likes to drop behind a main striker, which is probably his best position, so maybe I would have to stay up a bit more. I would have no problem with that. 'But hopefully we can bring another forward in to strengthen the team. It would allow us to spread the matches out and make changes for certain games. 'But if that forward does not come in, I am sure we can deal with it.' Rooney should at least be fitter at Fratton Park than he was last weekend against Newcastle, when he was pushed into service following a two-week break after picking up a virus in Nigeria. Tevez's return is a welcome bonus, although neither Owen Hargreaves, who is nearing match fitness after having his pre-season wrecked by a tendinitis problem, nor Anderson, who is not due home until tomorrow after completing his stint at the Olympics with Brazil, is expected to be considered.

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