'I have matured over the last year' says Rooney

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The Independent Football

"I feel I have matured, on and off the field, and hopefully that will continue because I am trying to cut out silly bookings for dissent," Rooney told Four Four Two magazine. "Signing for United, there was always going to be a lot more pressure on me than playing for Everton. There are people out there trying to shoot you down. I have to be aware of that and it is something I had to understand really quickly.

"My life has changed a lot in the past year. I am getting used to it and I just try to lead as normal a life as possible outside of football."

Rooney has scored four times for United this season even though he started playing wide in support of lone front-man Ruud van Nistelrooy. Those tactics changed at Fulham on Saturday, when Rooney played in behind the Dutchman.

The result was United's most effective attacking performance this season, with both forwards scoring in a 3-2 win, and Rooney admits it is a position he is more suited to."I class myself as a centre-forward and that is where I prefer to play," he said. "But I can play in different positions and I agree with the manager that it helps you as a player if you can do that."