sport

Rooney relishing captain role

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney insists that leading the club is something he was born to do.

Rooney took on the armband from Nemanja Vidic for the first time in United's opening day defeat by Swansea City.

Rooney scored United's goal in the 2-1 loss and, while he admits he did not play well, he has no regrets about taking on the honour given to him by Louis van Gaal.

"I just had a bad game and I was the first to say that when I got into the dressing room," said Rooney.

"I didn't play well. You have those days. But being captain is always a responsibility I have had in me, especially on the pitch.

"It will be a little bit different now off the pitch with new responsibilities. But I have always felt I am a leader on the pitch so it won't be a major difference on the pitch to what I normally do and that is to help us win games.

"I have always been vocal either on the pitch or in the dressing room. There have been times both for England and United when I have been told to be quiet. It has always been a part of my game and I think it is important that players speak to each other.

"You have to communicate. That is the only way you are going to help each other. The time is right for me to be captain and I am ready for the responsibility.

"Only time will tell whether I can be a successful captain but I will certainly be giving everything I can to help this club win trophies."

A number of former United players have been critical of the club in recent months but Rooney says that they have to accept that will happen if they are not winning.

"It is always a bigger story when Manchester United struggle and we saw that last season. We all understand that," he continued.

"Players have to understand that you are going to get ex-players going over the top and having their say. We have to accept it and be ready for it.

"We know that if this club is successful it is great and if it is not then there are a lot of people who are waiting for you to fall so they can get at you.

"We have to make sure we are successful. We have to make sure last season was a one-off because that was not good enough. We are not out to prove people wrong. We are out to win things for ourselves, the fans and this club."