THE BEST OF EN­E­MIES

Roo’s de­layed welcome

Irish Daily Mirror - - MIRROR SPORT - BY DAVID MCDON­NELL

JOSE MOUR­INHO has told Manch­ester United fans to welcome re­turn­ing hero Wayne Rooney – but treat him like an en­emy for 90 min­utes. Red Devils leg­end Rooney (with Mour­inho, above) makes his first re­turn to Old Traf­ford to­mor­row since leav­ing in the sum­mer – af­ter 13 glit­ter­ing years with United. The striker re­joined boy­hood club Ever­ton, but not be­fore he be­came the Reds’ all-time lead­ing scorer in his fi­nal

wake-up call. It’s not OK. It was painful. I am wor­ried about our ag­gres­sion on the pitch and how we de­fend. A young tal­ent of 18 or 19, OK, but it’s time for the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers to stand up. “I see the dif­fer­ence with op­po­nents – how dif­fi­cult they make it for our strik­ers. And how many spa­ces we give, let­ting them turn, not fol­low­ing your man, not de­fend­ing your man tight, not ag­gres­sive. “That’s what I am wor­ried about. And, of course, con­fi­dence.” Koe­man said he was not wor­ried about his job af­ter three straight de­feats, be­cause of the sup­port­ive na­ture of chair­man Bill Ken­wright (above) and his board, though: “If it is the board of Crys­tal Palace, maybe not.” But he is wor­ried by the lack of lead­er­ship shown by his se­nior play­ers and in­sisted they show their pas­sion and pride at Manch­ester United to­mor­row. He added: “We need per­son­al­i­ties who talk and crit­i­cise to make the team bet­ter. And to show every­body we will fight for a bet­ter pe­riod. And we need that on Sun­day.”

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