Manchester United striker to continue midfield role against Newcastle

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is expected to continue playing in midfield for Friday’s game against Newcastle United, SkySports reports.

Rooney was used in the deep-lying playmaker role against Aston Villa last weekend, helping United continue their seven-game unbeaten run.

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“Against Aston Villa, he (Rooney) was more of a defensive midfielder,” said van Gaal. “He has the ability to run from box to box – that is also a little bit that he has to feel in the match, to read in the match that he can do that.

“That is a matter of time and I believe that he can do that.”

Normally the Red Devils will train normally on Christmas before their Boxing Day clash, however manager Louis van Gaal has given the players a day off to spend the holiday with their families.

“I have changed that, I have given them free time and Christmas day with the family,” Van Gaal told MUTV.

“We shall come together the next day here at our Aon Training Complex. Then we will have all of the meetings like we have done all season.”