Wayne Rooney says Manchester United must be wary of 'handful' Andy Carroll

 

Wayne Rooney has urged Manchester United to pay special attention to Andy Carroll tomorrow night.

Carroll is bound to get a frosty reception from the Old Trafford faithful when West Ham travel north tomorrow night.

As a Liverpool player with an enormous price tag, it is hard to imagine the United fans will not single him out.

However, after working alongside the 23-year-old at close quarters during Euro 2012, Rooney knows the reality of Carroll's performances is nowhere near the perception many have of him.

The burly forward will travel north with confidence high following his first goal of the season at Tottenham on Sunday.

And Rooney has warned his United team-mates to be on their guard.

"Andy Carroll is a handful," said the striker.

"I am sure if you ask any defender, they find it difficult to play against someone like that who is good in the air and on the floor.

"He is physical and makes it hard for opponents.

"That type of player doesn't always get all the goals but they can cause trouble up front and create problems.

"I am sure that is what Sam Allardyce wants him to do."

Rather like Rooney, Carroll is like a lightning conductor for attention.

It seems he cannot have a quiet game, when he blends into the background.

He has to either be sensational or rubbish, with the brutal assessment often falling on the latter.

Rooney knows from personal experience such situations are never quite so black and white.

However, he accepts they come with the territory.

"It is something you get used to," he said.

"In the Premier League, you are there to be judged, whether that is good or bad.

"You just have to deal with it."

Carroll is an obvious threat given United's Achilles heel of conceding the first goal.

It has happened on an incredible 13 occasions this season, including in their last five games.

Indeed, United have somehow managed to clamber to the top of the Premier League despite managing just a single clean sheet, against Wigan at Old Trafford in September.

It is a record Rooney accepts must be rectified if United are going to maintain their present status.

"Clean sheets are the foundation we try and achieve because we have plenty of players who can score goals and win games," he said.

"As a team we are playing some good stuff at times but we are having to grind out results as well.

"Losing three games already is something we need to put right.

"We have been lucky that we haven't drawn any matches and we need to kick on from here and go on a good run."

With Paul Scholes suspended, Sir Alex Ferguson has already confirmed Anderson will start for only the second time in the Premier League this season.

It is also possible either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will replace Rafael at right-back given the sheer number of games the young Brazilian has been involved in this season.

The way Ferguson has tended to swap round his goalkeepers this term, David de Gea might also come in for Anders Lindegaard, whilst it is doubtful Darren Fletcher will be asked to feature in his third game of the week despite scoring his first Premier League goal in 13 months at the weekend.

Having gained the benefit of Chelsea's draw with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, United are now looking to maximise their advantage, knowing the first derby of the season is looming at the Etihad Stadium on December 9.

"We know City and Chelsea will be looking out for our results as we look out for theirs," said Rooney.

"But it is important for us to concentrate on our own performances and make sure we get the wins because there are a lot of games coming up.

"It is tough period and I am sure the manager will use his squad. We just have to make sure we come through for him."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate