Rooney: My worst season ever
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney admits that he is in the midst of his worst season in the Premier League.
Rooney scored 40 goals in 50 games for club and country in 2009-10, but after a dismal summer at the World Cup, injuries, difficult contract negotiations and tabloid scandal affecting his personal life, he has struggled to recapture his best form.
The striker was a key part of Manchester United's 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday and now says that he can make a major impact on the remainder of the season.
"I have to say it's been a difficult season for me - probably the worst I've ever had," Rooney told The News of the World. ''That week when I asked for a transfer was something I wouldn't want to go through ever again, but I feel I made the right decision to stay because this club is always going to be challenging for trophies.
"I picked up a few niggles as well and missed a few games, so I didn't really feel like I was playing a part. The good thing is that I feel fresh at a time when most players are picking up injuries or feeling jaded. I really want to kick on from here and have a big impact on the most important matches of the season."
Rooney scored a stunning overhead kick to seal a 2-1 win against rivals Manchester City two weeks ago and he says that the goal could help turn his confidence around.
"The goal against City gave me a big lift because it was in such an important game. I've seen it again quite a few times and I'll never get sick of it," he added. "This is usually the time of year when we really go for it. We want the title back. It was hard losing it to Chelsea as we did."
United travel to Chelsea on Tuesday, where they have not picked up an away win for nearly nine years and the striker is hoping to complete his rehabilitation and kill off the Blues' title ambitions in the process.
"We've got a really terrible record at Stamford Bridge - in fact, I don't think I have ever won there in my entire career,'' he said. "I've got some pretty bad memories about the place, like the time when I fell down and broke my metatarsal just before the 2006 World Cup. But you get these things in football and there's no way to explain them.
"It won't play on our minds. If anything, it will make us even more determined to go there and win. It's a really massive game and Chelsea need to win it more than we do. Hopefully the pressure will tell on them.
"I am a bit surprised to see them so far behind us in the league but I would never write them off completely. They have shown down the years they are a team capable of going on a long run of winning games.
"We can make it really hard for them by beating them but they will be thinking the same thing about us because it will have a big say on where the title goes."