Rooney de­serves warm wel­come on Old Traf­ford re­turn, says Mour­inho

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS - SOC­CER

LON­DON: Striker Wayne Rooney will re­ceive the warm wel­come he de­serves as a Manch­ester United “le­gend” when he re­turns with Ever­ton to Old Traf­ford, said man­ager Jose Mour­inho.

Rooney moved back to his boy­hood club at the start of the sea­son af­ter 13 suc­cess­ful years at Manch­ester United.

The 31-year-old for­mer Eng­land cap­tain won five Premier League ti­tles, the Cham­pi­ons League, the Europa League, the FA Cup and three League Cups, scor­ing a club record 253 goals.

“I think he’ll get the wel­come that he de­serves,” Mour­inho told a news con­fer­ence ahead of Ever­ton’s league visit on Sun­day.

“Some­times the word le­gend comes too eas­ily, but he’s a real le­gend of the club. The num­ber of ap­pear­ances, goals, tro­phies – clearly he’s one of the most im­por­tant play­ers in the his­tory of Manch­ester United.

“I think the sta­dium will show him the re­spect he de­serves. I hope be­fore the match and af­ter but not dur­ing it.”

With Paul Pogba fac­ing a spell on the side­lines with a ham­string in­jury, Mour­inho be­lieves mid­field­ers An­der Her­rera, Marouane Fel­laini and Michael Carrick can step up to the chal­lenge of re­plac­ing him.

“We have play­ers wait­ing for an op­por­tu­nity,” Mour­inho added.

“He started the sea­son re­ally well, we’ve had one match per week we’ve been go­ing with the same play­ers.

“Hon­estly, we miss Pogba and we need him but we have good play­ers. Her­rera, Fel­laini, Carrick – they’re wait­ing for a chance and they are ready.”

Mour­inho said left back Luke Shaw is back in con­tention for a place in the squad af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a longterm foot in­jury, but de­fender Mar­cos Rojo still faces some time out of ac­tion due to a knee problem.

United made a fly­ing start to the cam­paign with three straight vic­to­ries be­fore be­ing held to a 2-2 draw at Stoke City last week­end. – Reuters

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