• Premier League

Rooney praises Moyes, denies RVP rift

ESPN staff
September 19, 2013
Moyes also praised Rooney after his performance against Leverkusen

Wayne Rooney has praised David Moyes after revealing the new manager's training sessions have helped him return to his best and says he was the right choice to take over at Manchester United - while he has also denied reports of a rift with Robin van Persie.

The striker's relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson broke down at the end of last season when the former United manager omitted him and said he had submitted a transfer request.

And when Chelsea made offers for the 27-year-old in the summer, United rejected them and Moyes was adamant he would not let the unsettled forward leave.

Rooney played for Moyes at Everton before joining United in 2004 and reached 200 goals for the club with two goals in Tuesday's 4-2 Champions League win against Bayer Leverkusen.

And he hailed Moyes for his role in it, telling British national newspapers: "It's obviously good to be working with him again. He's a great manager and thoroughly deserves this job. Because of what he did at Everton."

"The training is a bit different under the new manager. I remember it from Everton, it's more intense. That's helping me. I feel good and am glad to be out playing."

Whereas Ferguson played Rooney in midfield at times or left him on the bench, Moyes has vowed to pick him in attack and made it clear he sees him as a first choice.

And in the last two games his first-choice strike duo of Rooney and Van Persie have contributed five goals, with Rooney getting three of them.

Rooney was quick to deny reports of a rift between them and believes they have proved they can gel on and off the pitch.

He added: "I have seen things said over the summer but me and Robin are friends off the pitch. There is no problem between me and Robin at all. We are great friends and we want to help each other and be successful.

"I think the manager has made it clear that he wants one up and one behind and whatever way round that is it doesn't matter to me.

"It doesn't matter as long as one is always filling in behind and helping out the midfield. We have done the work together and the times we played together last season we did well so hopefully we can play more together this season and do well. We dovetail well and try and help each other score goals."

Rooney is just the fourth player to register a double century of goals for United and is now only 49 behind the club's record scorer Sir Bobby Charlton.

He said: "It's a massive football club and it's amazing how long that record has stood for. So it's great to get to 200. That's a great honour and I'm really proud of that.

"To be edging closer to Bobby Charlton's record is great for me."

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