November 22, 2010

Rooney to start at Ibrox

20/11/2010 18:14, Report by Adam Bostock

Wayne Rooney will lead United's attack from the start against Rangers, after completing a comfortable 25 minutes as substitute against Wigan on Saturday.

The striker made his first appearance for more than a month when he came on for Federico Macheda in the second half, and while he didn't cap the occasion with a goal, Sir Alex Ferguson was still pleased with his star striker's return - and the crowd's reaction to him.

"That was good, it'll be pleasing for him," said the boss, referring to Rooney's mainly positive reception from the fans. "It will settle him down and help him to realise he's at the right club. It was a quiet comeback for him. He get involved in a few bits of interplay but in the main he just needed that 25 minutes or so. He'll play against Rangers on Wednesday, that's the perfect game for him to get 90 minutes."

Patrice Evra, scorer of United's first goal in the 2-0 win over Wigan, welcomed Rooney's presence in the line-up, telling MUTV: "Of course [we are glad to have Wayne back]. He is a top-class player. He is a great team-mate, and we want Wayne to be at 100 per cent to help the team."

Dimitar Berbatov could also return to the Reds' forward line against Rangers, after Sir Alex confirmed the Bulgarian's weekend absence wasn't down to injury or illness. "I just left him," said the boss. "When picking my subs today, I thought I needed to give [the bench] a different type of variety."

Sir Alex selected Macheda and Gabriel Obertan to start the Wigan game because "they deserved it. They changed the game [at Aston Villa] last week when they came on so I felt they deserved to start today."