Wednesday 23 May 2018

Rooney is motivated by Jose's arrival

Jose Mourinho is excited about the new season with United. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire.
Jose Mourinho is excited about the new season with United. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire.
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will need to impress new boss Jose Mourinho if he wants to keep his place in the team. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney admits he is feeling extra motivated following Jose Mourinho's appointment as Manchester United boss and is eager to impress the Portuguese.

Having succeeded the sacked Louis van Gaal in May, Mourinho is looking to make the Old Trafford outfit a major force once again.

And in terms of Rooney's potential role in that, the new manager has indicated he intends to use the 30-year-old United and England captain, who has dropped into a deeper midfield position for club and country of late, as part of his attack.

Rooney - with the Red Devils since 2004 and only four goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton's record haul of 249 in the club's all-time top-scorers list - told Inside United magazine: "I'm really excited to be working with Jose this season as he's one of the best managers in the world.

"It's an exciting time for Manchester United.

"I've always respected him both as a man and a manager, he's a nice guy and one of the most successful managers of all time.

"I like to think I'm always motivated as a player but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit more motivated when a new manager comes in.

"I'm sure all the lads will be happy to be working under Jose and also eager to impress."

He added: "I've played against many Mourinho sides over the years and I can't remember any easy games, so I think that says it all. His teams are always hard to beat, tactically disciplined and, most importantly, successful.

"He'll bring all these qualities with him and I'm sure he'll have his own ideas, but one of the biggest assets will be his experience. He's managed a lot of successful teams throughout his career and all that experience will be vital."

Rooney is expected to report back for training on 18 July before the eight-day trip to China, where United play Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.

The new Manchester United manager will have to wait for Rooney's August 3 testimonial against Everton before he makes his home debut as Reds manager.

But he is already anticipating the stroll from the tunnel at the corner of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand and the Stretford End to his seat on the United bench at the halfway line.

"It's a pity that it's not tomorrow because I'm waiting for that moment," said the Reds new boss.

"It's a stadium where you have a 50-metre walk (from the tunnel to the dug-out), which is different to my previous clubs.

"In all my previous clubs the tunnel was connected with the bench; there wasn't that space to feel good or bad feelings, because when things go well you normally feel the good feelings and when things go wrong you feel the bad feelings.

"I think the 50-metre walk will give me a few seconds where I will have the chance to feel it."

Mourinho has a successful record as an Old Trafford visiting manager beginning with his first trip in 2004 with a draw that knocked Alex Ferguson's United out of the Champions League at the last 16 knockout stage.

"The first time I managed there it was exactly a dream for me because it was on the way to winning the Champions League with Porto," he said.

"We scored a goal in the last minute at Old Trafford and made history for myself and my country. So for me there was always that connection that anything is possible, it's the Theatre of Dreams," the new United manager added.

"I did it with Porto, I won there with Chelsea, I won there with Real Madrid, so why can't I do it with Man United, playing at home with the fans in the stadium behind us? I am waiting for that."

Meanwhile, Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is set to meet his agent to discuss a possible transfer to Manchester United.

'El Confidencial' reported that Pogba will sit down with Mino Raiola over the potential move back to Old Trafford.

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