29/06/2009 08:37, Report by Steve Bartram

Rooney: I'll bear the burden

As Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez prepare to leave the club, Wayne Rooney is confident he can step up to the plate and become United's most potent goalscoring force.

The firebrand forward is keen for the Reds to bring in some fresh faces to replace the departing duo, but he is well aware that each existing member of the squad will have to contribute more goals in order to prolong the phenomenal success of recent seasons.

“We’ve lost two key players and obviously I hope we can get a few players in,” Rooney told The Times. “Between them Cristiano and Carlos scored a lot of goals for us last season and the season before, but I would like to think I’m capable of filling that gap.

"Cristiano is such a talent, he can score from anywhere, so you try to accommodate him. As a team, we accommodated him because we knew he could win matches for us. Now he has gone, we will have to score more goals between us. But I feel like I’m capable of scoring a lot of goals. If I can play in my right position, I’m capable of doing that."

Rooney occupied a berth on either flank of United's revolving attack in the latter stages of last season, most notably the Champions League semi-finals and final, and he is keen to operate in a more central role now that the Reds' attack is ready for a reshuffle.

“I want to play in the position where I feel I’m best," he said. "A lot of people think I’m best as a centre forward. To play in a Champions League final and to play week in, week out for Manchester United is a privilege and it’s something I’m very lucky to be doing, but I don’t think playing on the wing I can express myself as much as I like to.”


Premier League