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Rooney plays down top dog status
Published : 12 Aug 2009 13:48:00
Wayne Rooney insists he has never thought of Manchester United as being a one-man team. The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo has led most observers to presume Rooney will now become Sir Alex Ferguson's main man this term. "I am comfortable with the extra responsibility now Cristiano has gone," said Rooney. "But I have never looked at myself as being the main man. It is a team game. I won't win a trophy on my own." He added: "There have been big expectations on me for the last seven years so whether he was here or not I would still have that." Judging by Ferguson's team selection at Wembley for Sunday's Community Shield, Rooney will be spending most of his time partnering Dimitar Berbatov this season. If Rooney has little to prove, the Bulgarian certainly has after a distinctly mixed debut campaign following his club record £30.75million move from Tottenham. Although Ferguson frequently defended the Bulgarian, United's long-serving boss only used Berbatov as a substitute during the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in May and there were even suggestions he might have been sold less than 12 months after his arrival. Now though Rooney senses a fresh hunger, which can only bode well for a United side who begin their quest for an unprecedented fourth consecutive championship when they host newly-promoted Birmingham on Sunday. "You can see in training and games during pre-season Dimitar has looked sharper," he said. "He looks like he is more determined. "He is tracking back with the full-backs in pre-season and is definitely working harder and trying to impress. He is a brilliant player. He has so much quality he has got and we all want him to show it."