Wayne Rooney reveals what Sir Alex told him to make him a better striker

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Former Man United striker, Wayne Rooney always had the potential to be one of the deadliest in the game, but success didn’t quite come until Sir Alex Ferguson said a few words to him, the 34 year old has revealed.

Speaking on his column for the Times, he said: “You learn little things along the way. The best advice I received was from Fergie. He’d say ‘you’re working too hard’ and at first I thought, ‘What do you mean? Isn’t that what you want?

“But I used to try to run as hard as I could for 90 minutes and in the last 10 minutes be tired. The manager wanted his strikers to keep a little bit in the tank because that match-winning chance might not arrive until the 90th minute.

“I used to practise finishing when I was tired,” he continued. “At the end of a training session, I’d get a ’keeper and Eric Steele, the goalkeeping coach, and do five sets of six: a little sprint then a shot.

“By the fifth and sixth rep of each set, you were out of breath – and if you learn to finish when you’re tired, it’s so much easier when you get a chance and you’re normal.”

Rooney and Sir Alex clearly enjoyed a close relationship on and off the pitch, and it showed in his achievements at the club before his departure. He is currently our all time leading goalscorer, with 253 goals.