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Rooney demands focus
05 Dec 2006 - 11:11:57
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is urging his team-mates to be focused on Wednesday for the crucial Champions League clash with Benfica at Old Trafford.
Last term a defeat in Lisbon against the Portuguese side led to United crashing out of the competition at the group stage and Rooney is desperate not to endure a repeat performance this term.
"It's a really big night for us," he told MUTV. "Everyone at the club realises how important this match is to United.
"We have to stay focused and getting rest after Saturday is important because we need to be ready for the game."
United appeared to be cruising into the last 16 of the competition when they won their first three group games, but successive defeats to FC Copenhagen and Celtic have increased the pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Rio Ferdinand is also determined to seal qualification by beating Benfica, telling The Sun: "The Benfica game is very, very important.
"It would be criminal to throw this chance away now, having been in the position we were in.
"I thought we should have won the game in Copenhagen and it was the same against Celtic in Glasgow. We'd rather be in the position where we'd qualified.
"But now we need to make sure we get a positive result. We've made it difficult for ourselves."