(Reuters) - Everton forward Wayne Rooney has no problem playing in a deeper-lying midfield role for the Merseyside club, manager Sam Allardyce said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Swansea City.
Rooney started last week’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool and appeared unhappy to be substituted for fit-again midfielder Idrissa Gueye early in the second half but Allardyce said the 32-year-old was content with his role.
“It’s the role he wants to play, we’ve said it many times,” Allardyce told a news conference on Friday.
The former England manager said a disappointed reaction was expected from the player who spent much of the game on the right side of midfield.
“One would ask him not to do it in the public eye but sometimes that can’t be helped. As proud an Everton fan as he is, and playing for Everton, that’s where the reaction came from,” he said.
“Our tactical change was for the benefit of the team on Saturday. It’s a team game and you make a decision on the day to try and help the team to get a victory.”
Everton are ninth in the league with 41 points from 33 games while Swansea are 15th with 32 points.
“We need to be at our best,” Allardyce added. “The players cannot allow themselves to slip from the levels they need to get against a team like Swansea that are fighting relegation.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge