Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stated that Wayne Rooney is still a major part of his plans, despite the club captain being dropped for the 4-1 victory over Leicester City on Saturday.
The Red Devils have had a poor fortnight, with defeats to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford highlighting that the side’s midfield balance was not quite right.
Rooney has had to harbour the bulk of the criticism for the defeats and paid the price against the Foxes by being demoted to the bench.
Juan Mata was used in a central role behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and thrived, scoring the side’s second goal in spectacular fashion and playing a major role in the hosts blowing Leicester away in the first half.
Rooney now faces a battle to win his place in the starting XI back and was introduced from the bench with seven minutes left against the Premier League champions.
Mourinho has stated that there shouldn’t be too much read into the skipper’s place on the bench and that the England international is still critical to the side’s chances.
“He’s a big player for me, a big player for United and a big player for this country,” the Portuguese told the club’s official website.
“I don’t want to say anything else. He’s my man, I trust him completely and he’s as happy as I am at the moment. His team won and that’s normal, he’s happy.”