We got punished last season, but we won't make the same mistake this year, says Rooney as United prepare for Cluj test
10:24 GMT, 1 October 2012
Wayne Rooney insists Manchester United won't make the same mistakes as last season as they prepare for their Champions League clash with CFR Cluj on Tuesday night.
The Old Trafford club crashed out at the first hurdle last year after finishing third in their group.
United travel to the Romanian champions knowing if they can return to England with maximum points, they will have one foot into the knockout stages as both sides won their opening games.
All smiles: Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson appeared in relaxed mood on Monday morning
Flying Dutchman: Robin van Persie lunges in for a tackle during a United training session on Monday morning
And that at least would be one objective for the season completed after last season's unexpected exit at the group phase.
'The Champions League is completely different to the Premier League,' said Wayne Rooney, who came off the bench in United's 3-2 defeat against Tottenham on Saturday.
'If you are not at your best you get punished, which is what happened to us last season.
'We have to make sure that won't happen again this year so this is a big game for us.
'Hopefully we will get a win which will put us in a good position to go through so early on in the group.'
After transforming United's performance, if not the result, at Old Trafford on Saturday, Rooney's contribution against Tottenham must surely put him in line for a start.
The 26-year-old is certainly up for the challenge given how highly he still rates the Champions League experience.
'I still think it is exciting,' said Rooney. 'It is a great competition to be in.
'You look at the teams involved and it is a great challenge for everyone. It is something I love playing in.'
Sir Alex Ferguson received some welcomed news on Monday when Jonny Evans was able to train ahead of his side's Champions League encounter.
Who are Roo laughing at: Ferdinand was also present
Centre of attention: Kagawa trains alongside his tea-mates at Carrington
Evans needed to be helped off at the end of United's defeat at Old Trafford.
And whilst Sir Alex Ferguson claimed the Northern Ireland international was only suffering from a dead leg, with so many defenders already injured, there was a worry Evans was about to join the casualty list. It does appear he will be available, though, and Rio Ferdinand was also present.
Welcome back: Former Man United defender Mikael Silvestre and Jonny Evans are put through their paces
Antonio Valencia, who missed Saturday's game with an ankle injury, was missing from the open portion of training, though, as was midfielder Michael Carrick.
Ferguson has changed his side's European routine this season, meaning they will do all their preparatory work at home before flying to Romania this afternoon.
Scott Wootton and Michael Keane were also amongst those training with the first team this morning, suggesting at least one of the youngsters will make the trip.