Rooney demands protection

13 December 2006 08:15
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney claims his new-found maturity on the pitch is being tested to the limits by lenient referees. The fiery England ace has been noticeably more restrained in his performances this season but has called on officials to give him more protection. "For some reason refs think I should be able to protect myself without their help," said the 21-year-old striker. "I've had some bad tackles on me but I'll get up where other players will roll around. So the refs think there's nothing wrong with me. "I just want to play football and sometimes I get angry and sometimes I don't. "I just try to hold myself back and think for a minute, then react after that. I think I'm getting better and I'm learning how to take a deep breath. "I try not to get involved because I know if I do get frustrated it can affect my performance." Meanwhile, Rooney has backed the Red Devils to hold off the challenge of Chelsea in the race for this year's Premiership title. He added: "We know it's a long campaign and the challenge will be difficult. "However, we're confident and hopefully this season is the one to bring back the title."

Source: ESA