Wayne Rooney is intent on “creating more history” for Manchester United.
Already a game into a five-match pre-season tour of the United States and put through their paces in a rigorous series of training sessions at Seattle Seahawks’ training base, the Red Devils are looking forward again.
And despite the satisfaction of a medal collection that extends to four league titles, a Champions League and a succession of other trophies, that is exactly how Rooney feels it should be.
“You need to look forward rather than look back,” he said. “It is something this club breeds into you. The feeling you get from winning trophies is incredible. But we are expected to win trophies. We need to try to create more history for the club.”
Rooney has no worries that will be achieved. Indeed, the England striker is adamant glory will continue to be a staple diet at Old Trafford as long as Sir Alex Ferguson remains in charge.
Ferguson celebrates his 25th anniversary as United boss later this year. Rooney can detect no lessening of his desire as the years go by.
“While he is here, we’ll always be in the hunt to win trophies,” he said, insisting that 3-1 defeat against Barca at Wembley in May should not trigger an inferiority complex.
“Obviously, they were a lot better than us on the day. But over the last four years, we have been to three finals. We are not that far away. If we just give it an extra five percent and try to improve that much, then I think we’ll be all right.”
Fellow striker Michael Owen certainly thinks so, dismissing at a stroke any notion that his burgeoning racing empire – which brought him a Royal Ascot victory in the summer – may be dampening his own quest for honours.
“That [horse racing] will never be my career,” said Owen, who signed a new one-year contract this summer. “It’s just a big passion of mine. It will always be there in the background, but football is my main passion and everyone knows that.
“I’d like to think that if I stop playing in three, four or five years’ time, whatever it may be, that I’ll still be involved in football and still have that as my profession. It’s my passion and what I know.”
Meanwhile, it is being suggested Darren Fletcher’s ongoing struggle for fitness is worse than initially suggested.
The Scotland midfielder was not named in United’s tour party, with club officials claiming Fletcher needed to do more conditioning work to recover from a virus that wrecked his chances of playing any meaningful role in United’s run-in.
However, there have now been claims Fletcher has been told to stay away from United’s Carrington training ground for fear the virus which triggered substantial weight-loss has struck again.