Wayne Rooney has insisted he's got a "lot of football left" amid suggestions his days as a regular starting player for Manchester United could be coming to a close.
United and England captain Rooney, who made his name as a goal-scoring forward, has been a substitute in five of the last six matches for club and country, including the Red Devils' goalless draw away to arch-rivals Liverpool on Tuesday where he failed to find the back of the net after coming on for Marcus Rashford.
And Rooney has no time for suggestions that he is now a 25-matches-a-season player, insisting he wants to force his way back into the starting line-ups of both United manager Jose Mourinho and England interim boss Gareth Southgate.
"I'd like to think I can play every game, but obviously it's the manger's decision and I respect the decision," he said. "I'll be ready when needed.
"Not in my mind (do I think I've reached the point when I accept only getting 25 games a season). Maybe in other people's minds, but not mine.
"I'm 31 next week. I've got a lot of football left."
He added: "Obviously I've started through all my career, so it is a new period for me and of course I want to play.
"I just have to keep working and trying to get in the team and my chances will come, I know that, and it is up to me to take them."
Rooney's next chance to start for United will come in Thursday's Europa League match against Fenerbahce.
Talking about the Manchester United squad, Rooney said there was enough talent in the "fantastic" team to launch a serious challenge for the Premier League title despite a mixed start to the campaign.
United, who last won the league in 2013, have displayed flashes of brilliance under Mourinho but their erratic performances have threatened to undermine the Portuguese manager's maiden campaign at Old Trafford.
"I do think we'll be challenging this season -- we've still got that belief and it is even stronger after working with this manager and the players over the last few months," Rooney told British media.
After suffering back-to-back defeats last month, a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions has raised spirits as seventh-placed United held rivals Liverpool to a 0-0 draw on Monday to maintain a five-point gap behind leaders Manchester City.
"I think we've got a fantastic squad that is ready and capable of challenging. I'm sure over the next few weeks or couple of months we will have our way of playing, and it will be his (Mourinho's) way of playing.
"It is a different way of playing, but if you're an individual you should learn what the manager wants. As a team, it's going to take a little bit longer. We knew it was going to take a bit of time," Rooney added.
Rooney expressed confidence that once Frenchman Paul Pogba adapts to the rigours of English football, he would be well worth the outlay. Following his world record move to United in August, midfielder Pogba has yet to live up to his hefty price tag.
"Paul is a fantastic player, I think he is working hard and he is doing well," the England international said of the former Juventus star.
"It is a different league to what he's been used to -- he didn't really play last time when he was here so this is all new. He is a fantastic player and he will shine for us this season there is no doubt."
United host Turkish side Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday before travelling to face Mourinho's former club Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
First Published On : Oct 19, 2016 16:42 IST