Wayne Rooney has praised new Manchester United manager David Moyes for making him feel more settled at the club and for improving his fitness levels.
Disaffected at being asked to play in midfield, Rooney had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the summer but having been restored to his favoured attacking role did the trick.
“You can see I’m playing and I’m happy in my football,” said Rooney, who has scored five goals this season, having been played deeper last year, just off Robin van Persie.
“David Moyes has come in and he’s playing me up front and I’m enjoying it.
“I really have been happy all summer. From the outside looking in, it might not seem like it but I’ve been settled.
“My wife had a new child and I’ve been really happy and focused and I’m just delighted to be back playing and injury-free and fit.” The midfield role was the reason Rooney fell out with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I didn’t feel I got a consistent run of games up front,” Rooney told reporters at England’s training ground as they prepared for Friday’s World Cup clash against Montenegro.
“I actually felt when I played midfield I did OK but I didn’t want to play there. I felt I deserved the right to play in my position and that wasn’t happening. I can play midfield. Maybe when I’m a bit older, losing my legs a bit, I can go back there.” “Everyone at the club knew that’s where I wanted to play,” he said. “That’s why I was disappointed because I got told to play in midfield and I didn’t want to, but I’d always go in and try to help the team. There had to come a point where for my own career I had to be a bit selfish really.” “Obviously there’s been a lot of stuff happening and people waiting for me to say whatever but I’ve spoken to the people who matter at the club and we’ve known ourselves what we’re doing.
“I’m not going to go around saying: ‘I wanted to stay or I wanted to leave.’ I’ve just got my head down and worked hard. I’ve been focused and been wanting to prove to people that I’m a top player. I wanted to prove it to myself really rather than anyone else.” Rooney praised Moyes for his training methods that he says have made him fitter than ever.
“Honestly the training has been so hard,” Rooney said. “We’ve done a lot of different types of training -- a lot more longer running, quicker running, sharper running.
“That’s really benefited me. I feel as fit as I ever have done.” United are keen for Rooney to extend his stay at Old Trafford and the striker said things would work themselves out sooner or later.
“I’ll have more discussions with the club and we’ll see what happens from there,” he said.