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Mourinho prepared to bench Rooney

Jose Mourinho insists Wayne Rooney’s status as Manchester United captain will not save him from being benched after a below-par start to the campaign.

Rooney’s struggles have been well documented, with the United and England skipper enduring a sluggish season to date and struggling to justify his selection in Mourinho’s attack.

Having scoffed at Louis van Gaal’s decision to play Rooney deep in midfield last term, Mourinho utilised the same tactic in last weekend’s defeat to Watford, before the 30-year-old led the line against Northampton Town in Wednesday’s EFL Cup win.

Rooney has scored just once in eight games for club and country in 2016-17, with Paul Pogba’s stuttering start to life back at Old Trafford having attributed to Rooney’s deployment in the number 10 role.

Asked if the captain’s armband gave Rooney more leverage in selection matters, Mourinho said: “No, not at all.

“Wayne is the captain of the club. He’s trusted by the players, he’s trusted by myself and he represents the club in a fantastic way as a player and person.

“But in football, everyone is the same and if he has to go on the bench, he goes on the bench.

“If he has to stay at home, he stays at home, but that doesn’t mean you don’t trust him or you have a problem. Not at all. We have no problems.

“He’s our captain, but of course, no privileges. He’s like anyone else.”

United welcome Premier League champions Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday, with all eyes on Mourinho’s team selection after snapping a three-game losing streak at Sixfields in midweek.

Fri 23 Sep, 2016
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