LUKE Rooney is using self-expression as a tool to crowbar himself into Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio’s first-team plans this season.

The winger, who has impressed during his two 45-minute appearances in Town’s pair of warm-up matches out in Italy, faces a tough task establishing himself in the Robins’ starting XI over the coming months.

Matt Ritchie, Gary Roberts and Raffa De Vita are all pushing for places out wide as the return to competitive action approaches, but Rooney has come up with a gameplan to ensure he captures Di Canio’s attention.

“It’s just about doing everything the gaffer asks you to do and expressing yourself,” he told the Advertiser. “Don’t be shy because if you’re going to be shy you’re going to be left behind.

“When I say not being shy I mean in terms of not being frightened of doing things and trying things because you have to try and express yourself.

“That’s why the gaffer’s brought each one of us to the club – because he knows we’re good players and we can add something to the team.”

Rooney reckons he has benefited massively from an intense fortnight of training on the banks of Lake Garda, where Di Canio and fitness coach Claudio Donatelli have subjected the Town players to exhausting running drills on a daily basis.

And now he’s ready to get his head down and prove to the Swindon boss why he deserves to be his number one pick on the wing in 2012/13.

“I think that with me it’s all about getting through pre-season first – leg-wise and fitness-wise – and I’ve felt good so far and felt fitter already,” he said.

“The legs have properly got a little bit of catching up to do but you just have to concentrate on yourself, as harsh as it sounds because I get on with the three lads, but you’ve got to show you can bring more to the team.”