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Fergie admits Rooney mistake

Red Devils boss admits striker was not playing to his strengths

Last Updated: 19/02/10 10:50am

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Rooney: Played out of position

Rooney: Played out of position

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Sir Alex Ferguson has conceded Wayne Rooney was played out of position for Manchester United last season.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez also in United's star-studded side, Ferguson often capitalised on Rooney's willingness to play anywhere on the pitch.

Rooney would be used out on the flanks while he could also be found tracking back and aiding the defence due to his immense work rate.

However, as a consequence his productivity up front suffered. Rooney has found himself leading the line again this season and Ferguson believes the results are obvious to see.

The 24-year-old took his seasonal tally to 25 in all competitions in midweek after his brace helped United secure a priceless 3-2 success over AC Milan in their UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg tie.

"We probably didn't use him properly last season," Ferguson conceded to US-based radio station Sirius.

Exploited

"We probably exploited his eagerness and enthusiasm to play anywhere.

"But we know his strengths, we know where he's best and that's where we're using him this season."

Ferguson believes the phrase 'world-class' is used far too often in football, but he feels Rooney's recent performances warrant the praise.

"We talk about world-class players and I think that's a misused quote a lot of the time but, when you see his performances of late, you know you're talking about a really world-class player," he continued.

"I always said to him that to be a world-class forward you need to have a really consistent goal performance.

"He is now on 25 goals and there are still 14 or 15 matches to go, maybe more depending on how we do in Europe.

"So it does put him in the frame of not just being a great player but also a great goal-scorer."

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