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Pressure off Rooney

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08 Aug 2009 11:42:14

Pressure off Rooney

CRISTIANO Ronaldo's spectre still looms large at Old Trafford - but Sir Alex Ferguson has sought to ease the pressure on the man seen as the Portuguese star's natural successor. Wayne Rooney is expected to fill the void left by the World Footballer of the Year and prove that he can genuinely be considered among the game's greats. The United boss will seek to get the best out of the England striker - playing him in his preferred central role this season - but he does not want to make comparisons between Rooney and Ronaldo. "He's a completely different type of player," said the United manager. "I don't think you can compare them. Ronaldo was lightning quick, two feet, magnificent in the air and his goal-scoring record, what can you say about that? "For any of our young players - Federico Macheda, Danny Welbeck all the forwards, Nani, they all have to say this guy was exceptional." Strength Still Fergie believes Rooney can go some way to making up the goals that United will be lacking in the absence of Ronaldo and added that he can take the burden of having to increase his strike rate. "I don't think that will affect Wayne," he said. "He's proved time and time again that he's got mental strength. "He will be used as a central player this year. He goes on bursts of goals and if he gets that more consistent level he can get to 25 and above." Meanwhile, Fergie revealed that he always considered new signing Antonio Valencia an ideal replacement for Ronaldo. "In Antonio we bought potential from Wigan," he said. "We were negotiating for a while for protection if Ronaldo were to go, which he did so we completed the deal. "He's a different type of player from Cristiano, but he's got courage, he's strong and he penetrates very well. He's a good crosser of the ball and we are pleased with the start he's made." What do you think? Send us your comments


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