Monday 20 November 2017

Rooney set for Toon return

ALEX Ferguson has confirmed Wayne Rooney will return to contention for Manchester United's trip to Newcastle tomorrow night after fining and dropping the forward in the wake of a night out in Southport on St Stephen's Day.

Rooney was left out of the squad for Saturday's 3-2 defeat at home to Blackburn, after angering Ferguson with his failure to train in the manner expected last Tuesday, following his evening out with United team-mates Darron Gibson and Jonny Evans.

Gibson and Evans were also disciplined by Ferguson, but with sources close to Rooney and United insisting that the incident has not caused a rift between player and manager, Ferguson has admitted that the 26 year-old will be considered for the Premier League clash at St James' Park.

But speaking to SiriusXM's The Football Show, a New York radio broadcast, Ferguson suggested his decision to omit Rooney and Gibson against Blackburn -- Evans was already sidelined with a calf strain -- was due to his displeasure at the players' physical condition.

"Wayne Rooney will be available (at Newcastle) of course," Ferguson said.

"We had a few training sessions he missed, but you've got to be fit to play in this league. You can't miss training sessions."

Rooney is understood to have trained on Saturday and Sunday, as well as being forced to train on a scheduled day off last week, as a result of the disciplinary measures imposed by Ferguson.

The player watched the Blackburn defeat from an Old Trafford executive box after being dropped, as well as being fined one week's wages.

Neither the club nor the player's representative wished to elaborate on the matter, nor even to confirm Rooney was axed from Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Blackburn as part of his punishment.

United quickly need to regain their focus after being granted a Premier League reprieve thanks to Sunderland's late win over leaders Manchester City.

The United manager also expects Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand to return to action against Newcastle. "We're trying hard to get Rio (for tomorrow) and Ryan.

"Anderson should be better, he had 45 minutes on Saturday after four months out."

Asked about United's injury problems, Ferguson added: "We're getting a lot of impact injuries, contact injuries.

"Maybe the way we play creates that because we're always wanting to have the ball and we're always wanting to play."

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