PA PA Rooney admits room for improvement in wake of Beckham row

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"I always think I can improve as a player," he said. "I had a good last season but it was disappointing for the team as a whole. This time I have a good pre-season behind me. That's important because if you miss pre-season then you are always playing catch up."

Rooney has already struck three times, including one goal against his old club, Everton, on the opening day of the campaign. But he insists it is his all-round game he wants to improve rather than his goals output. "I have not set myself or been set a specific number of goals to reach," he said. "All I want to do is do better than I did last season. If I do that I will be happy."

After losing their 100 per cent record to Manchester City, United now begin their Champions' League quest against Villarreal tomorrow before heading to Liverpool on Sunday.

Rooney's temperament will be guaranteed to be tested at Anfield, but all the teenager is concerned about is collecting maximum points. "We have a big game on Wednesday, then another at Liverpool," he observed. "We have to believe we can win them all."