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Rooney: Everton return brings out the best in me

14 August 2017 09:49

Wayne Rooney is motivated by the high expectations on his shoulders after marking his Everton return with the winning goal against Stoke City.

The former Manchester United striker's first-half header proved decisive as he celebrated a dream second Premier League debut for the club on Saturday.

Rooney is now determined to deliver his best for his boyhood side, while also proving some doubters wrong.

"There is a lot of ­expectation, coming back here," he said. "There are some fans who maybe thought I wasn't good enough to come back here, but it is up to me to prove myself.

"I have been working hard and I am ready for that ­challenge to prove myself. I could have gone to another Premier League team and taken my foot off the gas and seen the last few years out. But coming back here? I have got to be the best I can be.

"It is the club I grew up supporting, it's the club I want to play for. I want to do well. I knew when I came back, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. That is how I like to play."

When Rooney burst onto the scene with the Toffees in 2002, he was a bustling teenager with a potent combination of pace, power and aggression.

Over the course of his United career, during which he became the club's and his country's all-time record goalscorer, his game has evolved and the 31-year-old is confident he still has much to offer.

"Football fans aren't silly," he said. "Everyone knows I'm not the explosive player who was here when I was 16 to 18. I think I'm a lot cleverer than I was back then.

"My game has changed. Hopefully the change in my game can help the team."

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Saturday 18 November

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Thursday 16 November

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 11 +31 31
2 11 +18 23
3 11 +13 23
4 11 +9 22
5 11 +4 19
6 11 +4 19
7 11 +1 19
8 11 +0 15
9 11 -4 15
10 11 -5 15
11 11 +0 14
12 11 +0 13
13 11 -2 13
14 11 -9 12
15 11 -12 11
16 11 -5 10
17 11 -7 10
18 11 -12 9
19 11 -6 8
20 11 -18 4

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