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"Danny hasn’t been playing up front a lot – he’s been playing out wide. He’s been doing a job for the team, which we’re all grateful for.”

- Wayne Rooney

04/02/2013 09:20, Report by Nick Coppack

Wayne backs Welbeck

Wayne Rooney has urged critics to stop judging Danny Welbeck purely on his goals return.

Welbeck, 22, came second behind Steven Gerrard at the FA’s England Player of the Year awards on Sunday night, but has found the net just once for Manchester United in 2012/13.

Rooney, however, is at pains to point out that the young forward hasn’t always been deployed as an out-and-out striker.

“We're not too concerned about him not scoring too many this season. He’s a fantastic player who works hard and brings a lot of energy to the team.

“He hasn’t been playing up front a lot – he’s been playing out wide. He’s been doing a job for the team, which, as players, we’re all grateful for.”

Rooney admits he’s suffered similar criticism in the past when he’s dropped deep and his goal tally has, naturally, slowed.

“Everyone labels Danny as a striker and I have had that at times when I have played in different positions. Someone will bring up the fact that I haven't scored for eight games when I hadn't played up front!

“Danny has been out wide a lot this season. He is a great player and his time will come when he gets that run up front. I am sure then he will score goals.”

Wayne was speaking to ManUtd.com, MUTV, BBC Radio and Press Association Sport.

More: Rooney strike sinks Fulham | In praise of De Gea

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