Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Let Wayne Rooney rip up rivals: Nemanja Vidic

Wayne Rooney

Nemanja Vidic wants the past to be forgotten and Wayne Rooney left alone to get back to what he loves best — scoring goals for Manchester United.

After a turbulent few months, Rooney made his first start since recovering from an ankle injury at Rangers on Wednesday, scoring the late penalty that sent United into the Champions League knockout phase with a game to spare.

The 25-year-old then apologised for the manner in which his contract negotiations were carried out, before finally declaring he never had any intention of joining Manchester City.

Vidic is not about to get drawn into the details of Rooney's conduct. As United skipper, all he cares about is winning matches, starting with Blackburn's visit to Old Trafford today.

Now the rows and wrangles are at an end, he feels Rooney should be allowed to concentrate on reaching the form he showed last term before injuries affected his performances.

“We have to forget what happened in the past,” said Vidic. “It is great news he has signed a new contract and will be part of Manchester United for the next few years.

“He showed on Wednesday that he is hungry to play for this club. He is hungry to score goals and had a few opportunities.

“It was important for his confidence that he got the penalty. He can build from that and the aim for him now is to achieve last season's form.”

Rooney feels he is fitter than he would normally be after an extended period on the sidelines, largely due to that week he spent in the United States.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson clearly has no intention of easing his star striker back into the fray and after a substitute appearance in last week's win over Wigan, Rooney is pencilled in to start against Sam Allardyce's men. “Playing is the name of the game for him now,” Ferguson said. “He was very rusty on Wednesday. But when he took his penalty kick, he came to life. He played really well in that last few minutes and hopefully that is a step forward for him.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard is finalising his move to United from Norwegian club Aalesunds.

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