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Roo will replace Ron

11 Aug 2009 08:30:17

Roo will replace Ron

WAYNE Rooney insists he can handle the pressure of filling Cristiano Ronaldo's shoes. Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged the England striker to break the 25-goal mark this season to help make up for Ronaldo's £80m departure to Real Madrid. And Rooney is convinced he can do that and help United make it an unprecedented four successive Premier League titles. "I am comfortable with the extra responsibility now Cristiano has gone," he said. "I have had big expectations on me for the last seven years so whether Cristiano was here or not I would still have them. Nothing has changed on that score." Rooney started off as he means to go on in Sunday's Community Shield shootout defeat to Chelsea - scoring a last-gasp equaliser to take the game to penalties. He played as a central striker alongside Dimitar Berbatov and has left Ferguson in no doubt as to how to get the best out of him. Preferred "The manager has said I will play a more central role," said Rooney. "I have said quite often that it is my preferred position and I was delighted to play there against Chelsea. "I am not sure whether it will happen all season. It is the manager's decision and whatever he says goes. I just hope to play there for most of the season. "If I keep scoring goals from this position it will justify why I have been selected there and I don't see any reason why he would play me out wide." Rooney will not be expected to carry the burden of replacing Ronaldo's goals alone. Vast improvement is expected from Berbatov after an indifferent debut season at United. And Rooney says there are already signs that the £30.75m Bulgarian is ready to live up to his hefty price tag. "You can see in training and games during pre-season that Dimitar has looked sharper," he said. "He looks like he is more determined. He is tracking back with the full-backs in pre-season. "He is definitely working harder and trying to impress. He has the quality to do it. He is a brilliant player."


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