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'Red-card happy referees won't change my style'

Wayne Rooney insists he won't change his combative style of play and will try to 'win every ball and every challenge'.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2006 15:54 IST

England star Wayne Rooney insisted Saturday that he won't let red-card happy referees change his style of football.

Both Rooney and Manchester United teammate Paul Scholes received three-match bans after being sent off in a match in Amsterdam earlier this month.

Rooney, who was shown his second straight red card after appearing to make contact with Porto player Pepe during an aerial challenge, was also dismissed in the World Cup quarter-final against Portugal.

He believes his combative style of play is making him a target for referees, suggesting football is veering towards becoming a non-contact sport.

But the 20-year-old, who is available for Sunday's Premiership match against Fulham at Old Trafford befor sitting out United's next three league games, is not ready to compromise, confident he is a fair player.

"Unfortunately football is getting more and more where you cannot touch an opponent," Rooney told the Sun newspaper.

"You see red cards now that would not even be fouls in years gone by.

"It's disappointing the way it has gone but you have to get on with it. The way I play football will not change. I'm determined. I want to win every ball and every challenge I go into."

"I'm gutted with that decision," Rooney said.

"I'm extremely disappointed to miss any games over that. It was the wrong decision to send me off.

"I never want to miss a game and certainly not for a harsh decision like that. You only have to look at the video to see I only had eyes for the ball."


First Published: Aug 19, 2006 15:54 IST