Mourinho: Dropping Rooney is not my problem

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday that Wayne Rooney being dropped by England as well as Manchester United was not his problem but that the player was positive ahead of Monday’s match at Liverpool.

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In a testy press conference during which he was reluctant to engage with most of the questions, Mourinho was asked if he felt it had been a difficult period for Rooney. “That’s not my problem. England’s not my problem,” he said. Asked about the 30-year-old’s current mental state, he added: “He is good he is prepared, he is training well and is positive.”

Neither was Mourinho willing to get involved in a discussion about Jurgen Klopp, whose Liverpool side have started the season well. “I’ve not much to say,” he replied. Asked if he felt the Merseyside club were title challengers, he said: “You will have to ask them. They are a good team.”

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Mourinho supported his club’s request to fans to show respect at the newly expanded Anfield – the two clubs’ supporters having mocked the Hillsborough and Munich tragedies in the past.

Mourinho said:  “Of course. In football we have some football tragedies, if you can speak that, which is a big match that you lost, the mistake that some player did, this kind of thing and you can make fun of it in a positive way but the human tragedy is something much more serious. It’s the last thing somebody should use in a football pitch because they were really big tragedies, not to forget but to respect. I will be really sad if such a big football match if that was a negative point.”

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Despite a successful record at Anfield, he did not say that he enjoyed competing there more than at most grounds. “It doesn’t make a difference,” he said. “I go there to play my game, to do my work, to enjoy my work which normally I do. I think the fans should go also to enjoy, to support their team, to be negative and create a better atmosphere for the opposition but in the limits of the safety and respect and I think that is going to happen.

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“I look forward, yes. I always like to play at Anfield. I won many times there, I also lost, I won big matches, lost big matches so I cannot say I like to go there because I’m always successful, it’s not true. I like the atmosphere, normally the characteristics of the matches. Being Man United manager means something more because we cannot compare the historical rivalry between my previous club and Liverpool and Man United and Liverpool. It’s just a big match that can be comparable to Inter-Milan to Madrid-Barcelona maybe Porto–Benfica. So maybe it is comparable to one of these matches and I like [that].”

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