Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United's trips to Everton are always "a nightmare" even without taking into account the Wayne Rooney factor.
After six days of his best player being plastered over the front pages because of those damning allegations in his private life, it took Ferguson just 16 words to inform the world he would not be responsible for any further comment.
Words might have been exchanged behind closed doors but a feature of Ferguson's illustrious managerial career, which reaches its 700th Premier League game on Saturday, is an ability to protect his players from further suffering, whether self-inflicted or not.
The attitude has so often been rewarded in the past and, when his team run out at Goodison Park, Ferguson will hope Rooney responds in the appropriate manner.
"Let's put it to bed straightaway," said the United boss. "I am not discussing any of my players' personal lives.
"It is always a nightmare going there and it wouldn't matter whether it was Dixie Dean playing for us. It is a hard place to go to. The atmosphere is fantastic. But we have had to deal with it for many years and there is no problem with our record there."