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Mark Hughes: 'Wayne Rooney can learn from Ryan Giggs'

Mark Hughes: 'Rooney can learn from Giggs'
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Mark Hughes claims that Wayne Rooney's influence on Manchester United "is huge" and says the Englishman can still thrive at Old Trafford late into his 30s.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has insisted that Wayne Rooney can still play a big part at Manchester United if he is able to successfully adapt his game in the same manner as former teammate Ryan Giggs.

The 30-year-old has been made to a settle for a place on the bench for the Red Devils' wins over Leicester City and Zorya Luhansk over the past week after struggling to find his feet this term.

Rooney has been tried in various positions by boss Jose Mourinho, most recently in his old role as an out-and-out striker in the EFL Cup win over Northampton Town, but he has so far struggled to really make an impression.

Hughes claims that the England skipper is far from finished at Old Trafford, though, and can still thrive late into his 30s as long as he emulates United great Giggs.

"Look at Ryan Giggs, who burst on the scene as a flying winger with unbelievable pace," he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News. "As he got older his role changed and the way he played changed. The key is that good players can do that and clearly Wayne's an outstanding player and he'll have the ability to change and still be an effective player for them.

"There always seems to be a debate about Wayne and where he's playing and his value to the team. Clearly he's a senior player, he's the captain, and his influence on the group is huge I would imagine.

"The key is levels of form I would think. Obviously on occasion some players will lose form and Wayne isn't immune to that but when he's at the top of the game then clearly his influence on the pitch is going to be great."

Despite falling out of favour at club level, it was revealed on Thursday that Rooney will retain the England captaincy under new interim boss Gareth Southgate.

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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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