Liverpool vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho insists fans won't boo Wayne Rooney like England supporters did

Rooney was jeered by England supporters after the win over Malta last weekend but Mourinho believes he will be given a warm reception when he returns to Old Trafford

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has predicted a warm welcome back to Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney after he was booed by a small section of England fans following the 2-0 victory over Malta last weekend

Rooney has been dropped from the starting line-ups by both Mourinho and England manager Gareth Southgate, with the 30-year-old jeered as he left the Wembley Stadium pitch by his own supporters.

Both Southgate and Mourinho have spoken out in defence of Rooney, and the Portuguese was keen to stress that Rooney will receive the backing of the fans when he returns to Old Trafford.

"He was not booed by Man United fans," Mourinho said.

"To be honest, the last match when he went to the warm-up I was feeling Old Trafford was behind him and immediately supporting him during the warm-up before he came on against Stoke.”

However, Rooney will need to wait for the anticipated warm welcome as United make the short trip to Anfield on Monday night to face Liverpool in one of the marquee fixtures of the season. Both Mourinho and his counterpart, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, have urged fans not to engage in disrespectful chants towards the opposite supporters, but Rooney will certainly face a hostile reception nonetheless.

"I think at Man United he feels at home, at Man United he feels the respect he deserves,” Mourinho added. “Not at Anfield, obviously, but he knows that here he is respected.

"For me, to play Liverpool is to play against a big club.

"In Madrid I wanted to play against Barcelona, against Atletico, against Valencia. In Inter I wanted to play against Milan, against Juventus, against Roma. In Chelsea I wanted to play against Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal, all the big clubs in the country.

"Now in Man United it's the same. I love to play against the big opponents and Liverpool is a big opponent."