Apology accepted as Fergie looks forward

22 October 2010 05:15
Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United have had a painful week - but feels Wayne Rooney deserves credit for acknowledging his mistakes.[LNB] Rooney has apologised to his manager and team-mates for the negative headlines he brought to Old Trafford this week.[LNB]It was virtually the final chapter in a story which will be remembered for a long time by those who witnessed it, let alone those at the centre.[LNB]The end finally came with official confirmation that the 24-year-old had signed a five-year contract extension. It commits Rooney to United until 2015 and makes him the highest-paid player in the club's history, with a new wage believed to be in the region of £150,000 a week.[LNB]What preceded it was jaw-dropping, right from the first claims of Rooney's unrest on Sunday, through two emotional addresses from Ferguson, split by claims from the player that his club no longer matched his ambition.[LNB]Finally came the closure Ferguson had demanded on Wednesday evening, the seal being applied 24 hours after he predicted, but the outcome satisfying for all concerned.[LNB]"It has been a turbulent few days," Ferguson told Key103 with generous understatement.[LNB]"We have been hurt by events but Wayne has apologised to me and the players. He will do so with the supporters too.[LNB]"I always feel it is a quality in a person when they say they are sorry and realise they have made a mistake. That happens with young people.[LNB]"The job is to put it behind us and get Wayne Rooney back on the pitch, playing the way we know he can."[LNB]Not for the first time in his 24 years at United, Ferguson has emerged victorious from the bleakest of situations.[LNB]His heartfelt comments on Tuesday left no-one in any doubt how personally he was taking the prospect of Rooney's departure.[LNB]The next day he was rather more forcefully stressing how good he was at improving young players, outlining his current method of team building at a point where it seemed Rooney was bound for Chelsea or, even worse from a United perspective, Manchester City.[LNB]The words were spoken in front of the media. They were meant for Rooney's digestion as well, with the addition on both occasions that his "door was still open".[LNB]On Wednesday night, it appeared there was no chance of Rooney giving it the faintest of taps. This lunchtime, he burst straight through.[LNB]What changed in those 36 hours? Ferguson thinks he knows the answer.[LNB]"All the impact of what has been happening over the last few days has made Wayne realise what a big club Manchester United is," he said.[LNB]"Sometimes when you are enclosed in a club like ours, where no-one gets into the training ground, you forget how big the club is.[LNB]"It is only now, when Wayne has seen the global impact, he realises this is the biggest club in the world. It is important to remember that."[LNB]The advice Ferguson lamented was no longer available from fathers was also received, although from whom is not certain.[LNB]Rooney's trusted advisor Paul Stretford played a key role, as did United chief executive David Gill, with the Glazer family adding their approval from Tampa.[LNB]"You see the record since he has been here," said Ferguson, challenging the previously aired Rooney claim that the club no longer shared his objectives.[LNB]"He has won European Cups, the World Club Cup, three league titles, League Cup.[LNB]"In football it is very difficult to maintain success for four years or more. We hit the crossbar last year. We finished second by one point.[LNB]"Instead of suffering to a degree where we are going to collapse as a club, we have to kick on. We always have to do that.[LNB]"The older I great, the more the demands I place on myself to win things increases.[LNB]"The criticism bites deeper. There is always that timing of what the reaction will be when you are not doing well.[LNB]"You have to guard against that all the time. You can only do that by winning."[LNB]There have been suggestions some in the United squad have been left unimpressed by Rooney's conduct, and the implied comment they are substandard.[LNB]Yet Ferguson insists there are no bridges to build.[LNB]"There is no problem with the players or myself," he said. "We are doing what is best for Manchester United.[LNB]"We have important issues ahead, starting with Stoke City on Sunday.[LNB]"We are lagging behind Chelsea and we have to start making up ground quickly.[LNB]"We can only do that with everyone on board, with no-one jumping ship.[LNB]"Then we can push on and see the real Manchester United."[LNB]

Source: Team_Talk