Wayne Rooney to return for Manchester United
18 October 2011
ALEX FERGUSON says Wayne Rooney is ready to ignore his international trauma and put Manchester United's Champions League campaign back on track.
Ferguson left Rooney out the starting line-up for Saturday's clash at Liverpool believing his three-match Euro 2012 ban had hit him too hard.
But after bringing him on in the 69th minute — following Steven Gerrard's opener — he realised the striker had put the disappointment behind him.
Now Rooney, 25, will start tonight's Champions League encounter with Romanian minnows Otelul Galati as United look to get their first group win after two opening draws.
Referring to the Liverpool game boss Ferguson said of Rooney: "When he came on he was quite bubbly. He was full of energy and enthusiasm.
"He was desperate to get on actually, which is good because when he sat watching the game he probably said, 'I could be out there'.
"He'll be playing in this game."
Despite Rooney's enthusiasm when he came on at Anfield, Fergie admits his star striker is still very disappointed.
The ban that will see him miss all England's Euro 2012 group games next summer.
Rooney was red-carded this month for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic in England's final qualifier.
He hoped to receive only a one-match ban, but UEFA made it three and the FA have yet to decide if they will appeal. Ferguson added: "I think the initial news was a definite blow for him. He didn't expect that.
"I don't think any of us did. To me, it was a silly action but it wasn't seriously dangerous. It was a slight reaction, but to get a three-match ban...
"When he realised it meant missing all the games for England and he might not be involved at all, that resonated in Wayne's mind.
"UEFA are strict in a lot of things and they've deemed it a three-match ban. I can't say any more on that."
Ferguson was adamant yesterday had he brought Rooney and Nani into the game before Gerrard's goal they would have left Anfield with all three points.
He claimed: "I felt we might have won the game by bringing on Rooney and Nani before Liverpool scored.
"I thought it was the right thing to start with the team we did at Liverpool. We never looked like losing a goal until Gerrard scored and then it became a very open match.
"If we had brought Rooney and Nani on before then it would have been very different."
That draw meant United fell two points behind local rivals City, who they meet on Sunday at Old Trafford.
First, Ferguson has to turn his attentions to Europe after a stuttering start to their campaign which saw them draw against Benfica in Lisbon and at home to Basel after leading 2-0.
The United boss added: "Against Basle we became very complacent in the match and it's not a tournament where you can afford to be complacent, so this is an important game for us now.
"We had them watched. We've got a good idea of how the game should be played and hopefully get the result we want. I think we have to win and I'll play a strong team.
"But I can play several teams and still be strong enough to win the game, like I did on Saturday.
"We have to progress in the Champions League and then we have four or five days to recover for the Sunday game against City.
"The timescale for recovery is perfect for us and it's the same for City as well."
United are understandably favourites for tonight's Group C clash having lost only one of their last 24 away games in Europe.
Galati by contrast have lost five of their last nine games in all competitions and won only two of their seven home games this season.
Club president Marius Stan admitted: "The simple objective from this game is not to be embarrassed."