Rooney's contribution undervalued - Schmeichel

Wayne Rooney received strong support from Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel on Thursday.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel defended striker Wayne Rooney and said the captain's overall contribution was undervalued.

The 29-year-old ended his goalless run with a hat-trick in United's 4-0 win at Club Brugge in their UEFA Champions League play-off second leg on Wednesday.

While Rooney's wait for a Premier League goal this season continues, United great Schmeichel said there was more to the England international's game.

Schmeichel, a five-time league winner with United, denied Rooney had been struggling.

"What I sometimes think is not happening is looking at what Wayne does for the team," the 51-year-old said.

"Wayne is an unselfish player, Wayne leaves room for everybody else, Wayne creates a lot of opportunities for everybody else and Wayne's a leader.

"He's taken over the armband and what is clear to me is that he's taken upon him a responsibility that he takes very seriously. I think he's not been struggling.

"OK, he's not been scoring the number of goals but as long as someone else is scoring the goals that are needed [it's OK].

"[Against] Newcastle, you can argue that we should score more goals and we probably should have, but those kind of games, you have them.

"You can't even explain why they are happening but I think with Wayne's performance [against Club Brugge], I don't think the question was very fair, because to score a hat-trick put it to bed so early in the game, I think that's what Wayne Rooney's all about."