Wayne Rooney has finally apologised for questioning Manchester United's transfer strategy in the course of securing his new contract and has secured some credit among fans by declaring that he would have moved abroad before signing for Manchester City.
Rooney's calm penalty winner against Rangers on Wednesday, which sealed Champions League qualification, came on a night when another broadcast interview failed to elicit the apology for “hurting” the team which Sir Alex Ferguson had said would be forthcoming.
The one Rooney finally offered to newspaper journalists as he left Ibrox was qualified.
“I feel like I have apologised to the fans but everyone keeps saying that I haven't. If that is the case, then I apologise for my side of things.”
His scornful insistence that a move to City had never entered his mind will go down well at Old Trafford, though.
“Everyone is saying that I was definitely going to Man City,” he said. “Believe me, if I had gone it wouldn't have been in England.”
Rooney also stated that he is ready to get back to his best.
“With everything that has happened it all goes a bit overboard but I know myself I have been through patches before when I haven't played well but I have come through them. I know 100 per cent I will come through this one.”
And the striker has insisted that he has retained mental strength.
“Mentally I have been okay,” he said. “I am mentally strong. Because the football has not been going well and the other things that have happened everyone has put it down to not being mentally strong enough but I am.”
The 25-year-old's Celtic allegiances also appear to have helped him on Wednesday.
“It is well known I follow Celtic. It is always a special moment [to score] at Rangers.”