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Wayne Rooney only has himself to blame for fitness doubt, says Sir Alex Ferguson
Published : 05 Mar 2010 18:34:03Rss feed
Rooney is a doubt for Manchester United's Premier League trip to Molineux having played for 86 minutes of England's 3-1 victory in the friendly against Egypt at Wembley. Ferguson named Rooney as a substitute for last Sunday's Carling Cup final against Aston Villa due to a slight knee injury, and had expected the 24 year-old to miss England's clash with the African champions. Related ArticlesWolves v Manchester United: match previewMichael Owen ruled out for rest of seasonMichael Owen: profileHargreaves to play for United reservesRed Knights get £500m pledge to unseat GlazersSport on televisionWhile the United manager insists he has no issue with England manager Fabio Capello over Rooney's selection against Egypt, Ferguson admits he has been left "disappointed" by the player's reluctance to minimise his involvement in the fixture. Ferguson said: "There were some changes made during the England game and I thought Rooney would be one of them. He went into the game with a small injury, but there you are. It's disappointing. "Fabio has to pick his best team because a win was important and I think England played the best I have seen them play for years. But I was disappointed more with Wayne. He didn't come off, I couldn't believe it, and now he's a doubt for the Wolves game. "I don't blame Fabio at all, but don't forget he [Rooney] was not supposed to be playing. That's what Wayne told us on Sunday because he was feeling his knee. Then all of a sudden, people put an arm around his shoulder with England and he wants to play. "I don't think he should have played. His own enthusiasm has caused it. He can't say 'no' and that's his problem." Rooney has been involved in every game for club and country since missing United's Champions League trip to Wolfsburg on Dec 8, and with a heavy workload likely for the rest of the campaign, fears of the player suffering from burnout have already been expressed. Ferguson believes that Rooney is paying the price for two games in four days on an exacting Wembley pitch which the manager claims contributed to the hamstring injury that has ended Michael Owen's season. He said: "Playing at Wembley, on that kind of pitch for almost an hour on Sunday and then almost the full 90 minutes on the Wednesday, is far too much. "You saw the pitch. I thought a horse show had been on it by the time I went on it! Do you remember when Arsenal played Swindon in the 1969 League Cup final? It wasn't as bad as that, but it reminded me of a ploughed field. I couldn't believe the players had actually played on it and come through it. "We're going to have to assess Wayne because he played virtually the full game for England. It's hard to quell people with his kind of enthusiasm. He can't sit down, he can't sit still and he is always on the move. Even in hotels, I watch him and he's moving from one table to another. "When we're away in Europe, he's walking about, he's always on the go all the time, so he's got a restless energy which you don't want to take away from him. But age does some good things for you and, eventually, you say to yourself 'I can't be bothered with all this running about all the time', and you have to take a rest some time." If Rooney fails to prove his fitness, Dimitar Berbatov will be handed the responsibility to fire United to the victory Ferguson believes is required to keep a resurgent Arsenal at arm's length in the title race. Ferguson said: "Arsenal are only three points behind Chelsea and two points behind us and, on paper, they have the easiest run-in." Mick McCarthy will not repeat his controversial team selection against United. The Wolves manager was criticised for fielding a severely weakened team at Old Trafford in December, when he rested 10 players from the side that beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 days earlier. "Whatever team I pick will come under scrutiny," he said. "But it is done with and I don't want to talk about it. We will be going for it to try to win the game."