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"Football's full of Einsteins": Mourinho, Rooney bullish about 'rubbish' claims

Soccer

Wayne Rooney has vowed to shut out the critics and battle hard for Manchester United.

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The form of the United and England captain has come under scrutiny following the team’s recent poor run of results.

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 equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time United record of 249, is still worth his place in the side.

But asked about the critics, Rooney told MUTV: “I think I’ve had that my whole career – a little bit more of late, I think, but that’s football.”

“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,” he said.

“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 said.

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.

“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,” he said.

United coach Jose Mourinho also hit out at his critics following criticism of his team’s recent poor form.

Mourinho, a Champions League winner with Porto and Inter Milan told MUTV: “We had a bad week. I know that some football Einsteins, they tried to delete 16 years of my career and delete an unbelievable history of Manchester United Football Club and focus on a bad week and three bad results.

“But that’s the new football – it’s full of Einsteins.”

Mourinho, who began his Old Trafford career with four wins in a row, hopes to put the sticky spell behind him when he leads his team into three successive home games, starting with the Premier League clash against champions Leicester in Saturday’s early kick-off.

“It’s always good to be at home,” he added.

“I can understand completely the disappointment for the fans with the last week, but I’m sure, back at home, they will be behind the team like they always are.”

-PA

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