Moyes told United star that 'he'd gone a bit soft'

The Scottish manager has revealed that he accused Wayne Rooney of losing his aggression at the start of the season.

Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract with Manchester United this week, and showed just why the Premier League champions were willing to extend his deal with a goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The England forward has been rejuvenated this season, with David Moyes seemingly getting the best out of the former Everton attacker.

However, the Scottish boss has revealed that he tried to motivate Rooney at the start of the season with a frank conversation.

"I remember when he came to see me," Moyes is quoted as saying by ESPN.

"He came up to my house. I said to him: 'If you ask me what's missing - I think you've gone a bit soft.' I thought he hadn't been the hard-working, aggressive player he was.

"But now in games people are saying: 'Look at the effort he's putting in.' It's his work-rate, not just for himself but for the team. He's become an all-round team player who is also a technically gifted footballer.

"I said to Wayne that I wanted him to stay. Before I'd actually come in here, I'd met Wayne privately a couple of times, to talk about his situation, to try to understand. So when I got in [on July 1] I knew where Wayne was.

"The most important thing for Wayne was to show everyone what he really was and I think deep down he knows he didn't play as well as he could have done at times. I needed to try to get him back to that level.

“But in the end I just said to him: 'Wayne, go and get on with it.' His training was first-class, he came back in great shape, you could really see the hunger back in his eyes again."

Some have questioned whether Rooney’s contract should have been extended since the club have signed Juan Mata, but the English star is clearly showing his pedigree in a struggling United side.

image: © nasmac

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