Manchester United captain Rooney vows to 'prove people wrong' amid talk over future

Updated: 

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney insists he has years left at the top level of football and is determined to prove his critics wrong in the closing weeks of the season.

England's record goalscorer has found playing time limited at Old Trafford this term, with injury problems and the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic restricting him to 10 starts in the Premier League.

A serious knee injury to Ibrahimovic saw Rooney handed a rare start at Burnley on Sunday and the 31-year-old repaid manager Jose Mourinho's faith with the second goal in a 2-0 victory.

United's battle for a top-four finish and Europa League triumph mean Rooney is likely to play an important role in the coming weeks, although his long-term future remains far from certain.

The former Everton man says he has plenty to contribute in both the short and longer term, however.

"I feel I can contribute quality, composure, experience, and know-how, how to get over the line, whether it's to win the league or finish top four or get to the final. That's a lot of experience I can contribute to the team," he told Sky Sports ahead of Thursday's derby match with Manchester City.

Asked if he can play at the top level for two or three years longer, he replied: "Yes. Even longer I think. Everyone mentions that age, I'm 31, not an old person. Of course, I've played a lot of games.

"Who knows, not playing so many games this season might benefit me. All I can do is keep working, keep trying to prove people wrong. I work hard in training, and I just have to wait and get my chance, as I did against Burnley.

"I know I'm good enough to play at the top level. People have their opinions, which I respect, and I have mine."

Rooney was heavily linked with a move to the Chinese Super League in January before committing his immediate future to United, but talk of a possible switch to the CSL, MLS or a return to Everton persists.

However, the forward is unwilling to discuss his plans beyond trying to help United get back into the Champions League.

"I think I answered that question in February," he said. "My focus at the minute is helping us reach the Europa League final, and to win it, and help us get to the top four. That's my focus at the minute.

"I think I've got a lot to offer, and as I keep saying, I'm looking forward to these next few games, get a few under my belt, and get to where I want to be at the end of the season and see what happens there."