Cape Town - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that club veteran Wayne Rooney is entering a difficult period of his career.
The 31-year-old is used to being an automatic starter for both club and country, being the all-time record goal scorer for both, but he has been relegated to being a rotation player under Mourinho.
Rooney has netted five goals and five assists in only 14 Premier League starts this season, while various injuries have kept him out of contention for eight games.
"It's very difficult because during my career I had this kind of situation of getting players – amazing players with amazing history – in the last period of their career," Mourinho told Omnisport.
"When you get players in the last part of their careers, the players with the big history in the club – and I had that everywhere, I had that in Inter, I had that at Real Madrid, I had that at Chelsea.
"Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, to have them - and in my case I had them in the best period of their career - and then when I returned the second time, I had them in their last period of their career. How difficult it is."
"Sometimes, the players understand the situation. Sometimes the players still feel they are 24, 25 and it's very difficult," Mourinho added.
"The good thing with Wayne is that he's a very club man. He's very club man. And if he is frustrated, he hides it. If he is not happy, he hides it. He behaves in the best possible way."