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Manchester United v Rangers: there's no point winding up Wayne Rooney, says David Weir
Published : 13 Sep 2010 13:54:19
Sir Alex Ferguson claimed he left Rooney out of Saturday's Premier League draw at Everton because he feared the abuse directed at him by the Goodison Park crowd would have a detrimental effect on his performance. Despite the on-going problems in his private life, Rooney is expected to face Rangers tomorrow when Manchester United open their latest Champions League campaign. Related ArticlesWayne Rooney trains for Rangers contestRangers expect daunting test against UnitedSir Alex can't afford to upset RooneyMoyes hints at Rooney punishmentRooney in spotlight over United omissionPhelan: Wayne Rooney wasn't ready to playAs an old team-mate of Rooney from their days at Everton, Weir knows the 24 year-old well. And he feels if the Rangers fans have any intention of trying to make life uncomfortable for Rooney, they would be better served not bothering. "I am more interested in Wayne Rooney as a footballer and I don't think there is any need to give him any encouragement," said the veteran defender. "He is one of the best players in the world." Weir still remembers seeing Rooney breaking into the Everton first team set-up and what an impact he made. "He was only 16 but he took to it like a duck to water," he said. "He scored some great goals; some famous goals like the one against Arsenal that launched his career. "Since then he has gone from strength to strength. "Everyone loved him and it is great to see him doing so well, although I am not sure having played with him will give me any kind of advantage tomorrow." Rangers manager Walter Smith is still unsure over the fitness of Kirk Broadfoot. However, Steven Whittaker has been passed fit for the clash at Old Trafford after sitting out Saturday's Scottish Bank Premier League win at Hamilton. Both players picked up their injuries while on international duty with Scotland, Broadfoot forced to withdraw with an ankle knock sustained in training and Whittaker suffering a calf problem during the goalless draw in Lithuania. Whittaker is now in contention for the much-anticipated European opener, while Broadfoot's fitness will be assessed at training this evening. Smith said: "Steven has been doing well for us and it's good to have him back for the game. "There won't be massive changes in the team. Kirk Broadfoot is a doubt and once we know his fitness situation we will be able to sit down and select the team." Vladimir Weiss and Kyle Lafferty were slight injury concerns over the weekend but, other than Broadfoot, Smith has no other worries ahead of tomorrow's game. He added: "Everyone else is fit and looking forward to the game."