Wayne Rooney: Manchester United Captain's Surprise Admission Over Bench Period

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford, Manchester, April 4, 2015. Rooney was dropped for Manchester United's 4-1 victory over Leicester City. Alex Livesey/Getty

Wayne Rooney has revealed he understood Jose Mourinho's decision to drop him from Manchester United's team against Leicester City and Stoke City.

The 30-year-old has been a mainstay in Mourinho's line-up since the Portuguese boss arrived at Old Trafford in the summer, but a poor run of form saw him removed after three consecutive defeats.

Rooney has come off the bench in both Manchester United's Premier League games, in a 4-1 win over Leicester and 1-1 draw with Stoke, but says he recognizes the decision to be sidelined.

"I have had criticism a lot of times," the Manchester United captain told The Independent. "I think if he [Mourinho] was picking the next team on the back of that, I understand not playing.

"The team have done well, certainly in the Leicester game since that. I understand I have to work hard and try and get back and try and get my chance and take it."

Rooney is currently away on international duty with England, named as Gareth Southgate's captain for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.

Manchester United face a tricky trip to Anfield on return to Premier League action on October 17, as Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool is on a five-match winning run.

"I won't not fight for my place, I'll fight to try and get back in," Rooney added.