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Man Utd 12:00 Stoke

Fergie plays down Rooney claim

And United boss denies Hargreaves will face Baggies

By James Riach.   Last Updated: 15/10/10 2:18pm

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Ferguson and Rooney have different stories

Ferguson and Rooney have different stories

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has played down Wayne Rooney's contradictory comments regarding his supposed ankle injury.

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The 24-year-old striker has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as he tries to rediscover his form after much-publicised allegations regarding his private life.

Rooney had a poor summer for England during the World Cup and appears to be way off his remarkably high standards set in a United shirt last season.

He was left out by boss Ferguson for the last two games against Valencia and Sunderland, with the wily tactician citing an ankle knock as the reason for his absence.

However, after playing for England in their Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday, the former Everton star denied ever having such an injury, going against his manager's previous claims.


Ferguson has now sidestepped the issue and blames the intrusion of the press as the reason for Rooney's comments.

"It is water off a duck's back to me," he told Key103.

"I don't know where all these things come from. The boy is always in the spotlight and being addressed by the press.

"It is important how you handle it in my experience. But it just runs off me. It doesn't mean anything."

Rooney is expected to feature for the Red Devils in the Premier League clash with West Brom on Saturday, having last played in the game at Bolton in September.

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