Friday 19 January 2018

Ferguson hails United striker’s spot of bravery under pressure

ALEX FERGUSON hailed Wayne Rooney's courage after the striker slotted home Manchester United’s 87th-minute winner from the penalty spot at Ibrox last night.

Rooney, making his first start since ending speculation over his future by signing a new five-year contract, sent Allan McGregor the wrong way from the spot.

“It took a lot of courage to take the penalty kick,” said Ferguson.

“It was not an easy night, he missed a couple of chances, but that's what you expect with the rustiness in his game. We are pleased for him.”

He added: “Every time he scores a goal he wants to celebrate with the fans and players.”

On Rooney's fitness, the Scot added: “He's got a bit to go.” A draw against Valencia would see United top the group.

“We want to go and win the group,” added Ferguson. “We've got Valencia at home, we can look forward to that.”

United were awarded the penalty when Steven Naismith was penalised for a dangerous challenge on Fabio, catching him in the face with his foot as he looked to hook the ball away.

“Little bit disappointed to lose out to that type of goal. I don't think there was any great intent in Steven Naismith's challenge,” Rangers boss Walter Smith said.

Rangers are at least guaranteed third place in the group and a place in the Europa League.

“We are happy in one respect that we do have European football after Christmas,” added Smith.

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