Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will not travel to Rotterdam to face Dutch side Feyenoord in their opening Europa League game on Thursday. Manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that he wants the England international 'fresh' for their next match against Watford in the Premier League.
"Wayne has played every game since the start of the season," Mourinho said explaining his decision to leave Rooney out of the traveling squad.
"He has also played 90 minutes for England and he played 90 minutes last weekend and I want him to be fresh for the next match. In the position he plays, I have lots of solutions."
The Manchester United skipper, like a lot of other United players, has come under a lot of criticism after their derby loss to Manchester City at Old Trafford last week. However, Mourinho has dismissed the possibility of any other reason for dropping Rooney from the squad other than to rest him for the next game.
The former Chelsea manager has also insisted that they are respectful of the Europa League despite it being the second-tier European competition.
"It's not the big dream of every big player, but we are not in the Champions League.
"We have to look at it with respect. I think we want to do well in the competition and for a club of our dimension to do well is not to be out in the group phase."
"My option in the last four games in the Premier League was Luke, Luke, Luke, Luke and I think it is time for Marcos to play so it was a simple decision," he explained, reported BBC.
The Portuguese manager is expected to make a host of changes to the side which started in the 1-2 loss against Man City. Marcos Rojo will replace Luke Shaw in defence, while Marcus Rashford, who was very effective after coming on in the second half at Old Trafford, will start in attack.
"Marcos is a very good player who is working really well and hard," Mourinho added.
Manchester United squad: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone,
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