Rooney defends Young

United striker believes team-mate has come in for unfair criticism

Wayne Rooney: Manchester United striker believes criticism of Ashley Young is harsh

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Wayne Rooney has leapt to the defence of Ashley Young after the Manchester United winger was accused of diving to win penalties in successive weeks.

Young has been in the spotlight in recent days after going to ground very easily in the Old Trafford victories over QPR and his former club Aston Villa.

But the Red Devils' top scorer Rooney believes that much of the hype has been down to the club he plays for.

He told MUTV: "It's been exaggerated because Ashley is a United player.

"Whatever happens at our club gets more press than it would if it were another player at another team."

"Whatever happens at our club gets more press than it would if it were another player at another team"

Wayne Rooney

Quotes of the week

Cheating

And Rooney believes that allegations of cheating can be wide of the mark.

He continued: "At times you are trying to get out of the way of being kicked and people think you have dived.

"The game is so quick these days it's difficult for the referee to get some of those decisions right."

Award

Rooney also believes that Robin van Persie will scoop the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

The 26-year-old, who won the award in 2010, is one of six nominees for the prize, but he thinks the Arsenal striker will come out on top.

He said: "It is nice to be nominated, obviously it's a great award to win and it's your work throughout the season that gets you into that position.

"But more than likely, Van Persie will win it."