Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has opened up on his time at the club under Sir Alex Ferguson as he gears up to play against his former side this evening.
Rooney, now playing for Championship side Derby, will face United on Thursday night in the FA Cup fifth round.
The Red Devils are very different looking outfit now than they were during Rooney’s heyday at Old Trafford under Ferguson when they were winning title after title.
And the former England forward admits that he often bore the brunt of ‘Fergie’s’ half-time rants as the Scot knew he was much more thick skinned than other players.
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“I always remember as a kid, every half-time, arguing with him, constantly,” Rooney said. “I remember thinking, ‘Why does he keep having a go at me? There's players far worse than I've been!’
“Then the older you get, the more you realise why he's doing it. He's obviously aiming at other players who can't take it.
“He would have a go at me for dribbling. I very rarely dribble… well, I dribbled a bit more then… but [with] Nani, it would just maybe trigger something in [his] head, thinking, ‘Oh maybe I shouldn't dribble as much.’
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“He knew how to get that message across without losing it.
“If he spoke to Nani the way he spoke to me, he'd break down in tears. He wouldn't be able to go back out!”
Since joining Derby, Rooney has moved to play in central-midfield, having played as a striker for much of his career.
And the 34-year-old admits that the change of position has different demands.
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“I think some people think playing midfield is more demanding but it is more about having the endurance,” Rooney added.
“There's not as much high-speed running, so that's not a problem.
“Then it is about trying to get on the ball and trying to drag players out of position.
“A lot of the games teams try to put players on me, they have in a few of the games which allows me to drag them out of position and leave space.”
- Manchester United FC
- Derby County FC
- FA Cup
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Wayne Rooney
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