Belfast Telegraph

Fergie looks for boost from Rooney

Sir Alex Ferguson is banking on Wayne Rooney brushing off the usual hostile treatment from Everton fans on Saturday as Manchester United look to put the shock of their 6-1 defeat by Manchester City behind them.

Rooney has been vilified by the fans of his former club and in one previous Goodison Park match Ferguson admitted he had to substitute the England striker for fear the crowd would get him sent off. Ferguson needs Rooney on top form if United are to show once again that they can suffer heavy defeats and still bounce back.

The United manager said: "He's had mixed success going to Everton. He's scored a couple of goals in previous games and gets booed as normal."

He added: "He got booked in one game and I took him off because he'd been booked and there was no way I was going to give the referee an opportunity to send him off.

"That's where the hype around the ground in terms of him getting booed every time he makes a challenge comes into it. He's had mixed fortunes there but he's scored a couple of goals and done well in some of the games and hopefully that will be the case tomorrow."

United have shown in the past that one heavy defeat need not be the end of their title campaign - they famously lost 5-0 to Newcastle in 1996 but ended up cruising to the title - but Ferguson admitted the club has been suffering from the drubbing by City at Old Trafford last Sunday.

He added: "It's been a tough week for everyone. It was bad result but we have to get over it - the fans, players, employees, staff - everyone was involved in the disappointment. We must kick on. We enjoyed Tuesday night [at Aldershot] but we need to show ourselves tomorrow.

"We hope we can recover from the disappointment of last weekend. We've done that well over the years and we have to do it again. Nothing changes in football. The challenge is always there to be the very, very best which we hope we can do now."

Ferguson went to watch Everton play Chelsea in the Carling Cup in midweek and is expected the usual robust encounter at Goodison.

"It's not going to be an easy game," he said. "I went to see that game on Wednesday and in typical fashion of a David Moyes team they were all committed. He's had a few injuries and he rested a few players which is the norm in the cup, but they still represented their club very well. We know it'll be a tough game. That's what our focus is on."

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