News24

Rooney ready to sink Everton

2009-04-16 19:36

England - Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has warned Everton he will put sentiment to one side in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against his former club.

Rooney remains an Everton fan despite the acrimony surrounding his 27m pounds move to United in 2004, but the England star knows he can't afford to let emotion get the better of him at Wembley this weekend.

The 23-year-old spent much of his youth in an Everton shirt as he played football with his friends in Liverpool and he travelled to Wembley to see the Toffees beat United 1-0 in the 1995 FA Cup final.

That was Everton's last visit to Wembley and now Rooney, who spent two seasons at Goodison Park, plans to ruin their return to the English national stadium.

"It still means something that it is Everton. It is the team I grew up supporting," Rooney said.

"It makes it a big day for me, although the most important thing is for United to reach the final.

"I missed the League Cup final when we last got to Wembley, so hopefully I will be part of the team that gets us to another on Sunday."

Rooney has found goals hard to come by in recent weeks as United boss Sir Alex Ferguson continues to use him in a variety of roles.

He spent much of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final win in Porto stuck out on the right wing, where he struggled to influence the game and had few opportunities to improve his record of three goals in eight matches.

But the fiery forward insists he has no problem operating out of position if it helps United remain on course for an unprecedented haul of five trophies in one season.

"I have no problem with where I play," Rooney said. "If it helps the team get results, I will do it. The plan was in place and we stuck to it.

"To have so many big games coming up is amazing. It is why you want to play for Manchester United.

"Every game is massive. When you get close to winning trophies, they always are. We are getting closer."

AFP