Fighting fit

Wayne Rooney has dismissed suggestions from Alex Ferguson that persistant ankle problems were what kept the England striker from playing Manchester United's recent games against Valencia and Sunderland, saying that he hasn't had any problems with his ankle all season.

The public contradiction of Ferguson’s claims has been played up by the press as being a sign of a rift developing between the manager and his star player, which would be seriously bad news for Manchester United – without him playing well they are missing out on a serious big-game player.

‘I've had no problems with my ankle all season,’ said Rooney after England's drab 0-0 draw with Montenegro. ‘None. I've been training for the last two months. I haven't missed a training session, so there's no problem with my fitness.

‘When you're going through a run like this, you just have to keep working hard. I know. I've been through this before and, once a goal goes in, I'm sure I will get more. But it's just about getting that first goal. If I have chances and don't score, then I'm disappointed. But there are a lot of games left in the season, so I'm sure I can start scoring soon. I actually felt sharp and better against Montenegro.

‘You need games to get your fitness in. I've missed a few (games) this season. I've played six or seven, including England, and felt I was getting sharp but then missed three or four, so didn't feel as sharp as I should. I just want to keep playing consistently and working hard and I'm sure the goals will come. But I'm training as hard now as I can every day and I'm doing the extra training which I've done since I was a young boy. So I'll keep doing my training. I'm 100% fit, yeah.’

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