English Premiership

Mourinho promises Rooney 'respect he deserves'

Wayne Rooney (Getty Images)
Wayne Rooney (Getty Images)

London - Wayne Rooney will get the "respect he deserves" when the 30-year-old forward returns to Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho has insisted.

The dropped England captain returned to Old Trafford earlier in the week following an international break when he was booed by home fans during a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta at Wembley.

Days later Rooney, England's all-time record scorer, was left out of the subsequent goalless draw away to Slovenia by interim national manager Gareth Southgate.

Rooney could well be left on the bench again by Portuguese boss Mourinho when United face bitter rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Monday.

And while Rooney could well receive a rough reception in Liverpool, Mourinho has assured the striker, who launched his career with Liverpool's city rivals Everton, of a warm welcome back at Old Trafford.

"He was not booed by Man United fans," Mourinho said. "To be honest, the last match when he went to the warm-up I was feeling Old Trafford was behind him and immediately supporting him during the warm-up before he came on against Stoke.

"I think at Man United he feels at home, at Man United he feels the respect he deserves. Not at Anfield, obviously, but he knows that here he is respected."

Mourinho was involved in several high-profile clashes with Liverpool when manager of Chelsea.

But the rivalry between northwest sides United and Liverpool, English football's two most successful clubs, stretches back decades.

"For me, to play Liverpool is to play against a big club," added Mourinho, whose career has also seen him manage Spanish giants Real Madrid and Italy's Inter Milan.

"In Madrid I wanted to play against Barcelona, against Atletico, against Valencia," he explained. "In Inter I wanted to play against Milan, against Juventus, against Roma. In Chelsea I wanted to play against Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal, all the big clubs in the country.

"Now in Man United it's the same. I love to play against the big opponents and Liverpool is a big opponent."

Fixtures
Tue 07 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Crystal Palace
Chelsea
Selhurst Park
Tue 07 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Watford
Norwich City
Vicarage Road
Tue 07 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Arsenal
Leicester City
Emirates Stadium
Results
Mon 06 Jul 20
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Everton 0
Sun 05 Jul 20
Southampton 1
Manchester City 0
Sun 05 Jul 20
Liverpool 2
Aston Villa 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
33
29
89
2. Manchester City
33
21
66
3. Leicester City
33
17
58
4. Chelsea
33
17
57