Football: Jose Mourinho promises Wayne Rooney 'respect he deserves'

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as he prepares to bring on Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as he prepares to bring on Wayne Rooney.PHOTO: REUTERS

London (AFP) - 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 a substitute in the subsequent goal-less 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 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."