Monday 26 September 2016

Louis van Gaal and Wayne Rooney defend Marcos Rojo after he's mocked by Russian press

Mark Ogden

Published 21/10/2015 | 18:20

Manchester United's coach Louis van Gaal (L) and player Wayne Rooney attend a news conference on the eve of their Champions League group B soccer match against CSKA Moscow in Khimki. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Manchester United's coach Louis van Gaal (L) and player Wayne Rooney attend a news conference on the eve of their Champions League group B soccer match against CSKA Moscow in Khimki. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Marcos Rojo has been defended by Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and captain Wayne Rooney after being mocked by Russian journalists during the official Uefa press conference ahead of tonight's Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow.

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Rojo, 25, is expected to continue at left-back in the Khimki Arena after impressing in that position during Saturday's 3-0 victory against Everton at Goodison Park.

The Argentine returns to Russia tonight following an unsuccessful stint with CSKA's rivals, Spartak Moscow, and it was Rojo's performances across the Russian capital which led to Van Gaal being told by local reporters that the player ‘was not very good'.

Rooney was then asked 'how often do you go past him in training because everybody did it in Russia', but both manager and player rebuffed the questions by standing behind the £16m signing from Sporting Lisbon.

"I didn't know that he played for Spartak Moscow, but I have seen him in the World Cup in Brazil when he played for Argentina," Van Gaal said. "He did it very well and he also played for Sporting Lisbon.

"There I analysed him. What I like is that he is physically a very strong guy, he has a good header of the ball and his pass is very fast.

"That is what we always need, we need a high speed in our positional game.

"When he improves and he can reach a very high level because he is not fully developed yet. I think there is great potential in him to become a very good player for Manchester United."

Rooney, similarly, leapt to Rojo's defence when asked about the experience of training against him at Carrington.

"For me as Marcos's team-mate, I can say that he is a fantastic player and a fantastic person," Rooney said. "He is a player who is very tough to get around, as the manager says.

"For him to be from Argentina and to come and play in the Premier League is not easy but he has done a great job and he will be a very important player for us for the rest of the season."

Telegraph.co.uk

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