Jose Mourinho has backed Wayne Rooney to be a “big player” this campaign for Manchester United despite dropping the striker from the starting XI in their win over Leicester City.
The Red Devils cruised to a 4-1 victory over the defending Premier League champions without Rooney, thanks to goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
Despite the impressive scoreline without the England captain, Mourinho reckons Rooney will still come up big for his team when called upon this season.
“Wayne Rooney is a big player for me, United and this country. He is my man, I trust him completely. He is happy,” Mourinho said after the game.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 24, 2016
“We have lost six points in the Premier League. We have four victories which is really important. Today it is about the security and the happiness of the fans, I don’t know when the last time that they had such a scoreline at half time.”
The Portuguese coach was impressed with his side’s intensity and reserved praise for Claudio Ranieri’s second-half tactics.
“It was a very good performance and result. It is not easy against them and not easy to win in the style that we did,” Mourinho added.
“In the second half it was more about control – we wanted a little bit more – but Ranieri was very good to read his options and keep some balance. It was a choice of losing heavily or with some control over the scoreline.
“Today we had intensity, movement and dynamism. To be back home and beat the champions is good. Last season we couldn’t beat them and this season we have beaten them twice already.”