Jose Mourinho has admitted that Wayne Rooney is “hurt” by the current situation around him.
The Manchester United manager is however unlikely to help his skipper’s situation when they play Liverpool at Anfield tonight.
Rooney has lost his place in the United starting XI, and appears to have also lost his place in England’s first team, despite being captain of both sides and his role on the bench is set to continue for the fourth straight game with Mourinho unlikely to start him at Anfield.
His only United start in the last four weeks was against League One Northampton in the League Cup, which shows a massive fall from grace for a player who was once indispensable for club and country.
Mourinho claimed Rooney could not be hurt any more than he has been, but said the 30-year-old’s reputation counts for nothing when it comes to picking his United team for tonight’s clash.
“I think what you could hurt you did already. I don’t think you can do more than what you did,” Mourinho was quoted by the Daily Mirror.
“So I think in this moment it’s time for him to recover from what was done to him and the best place for him to do that is feeling like he feels at home here.
“You can hurt me but you can’t put me down. I think he’s the same.”
Rooney was the match winner for United at Anfied in the Premier League last season, but Mourinho said the striker’s past exploits mean nothing and defended his decision to drop him.
“That’s my job,” said Mourinho. “That’s a choice. I have 24 players.
“The records are not important for me. A match is an isolated event. There’s no relation to what you did in the past, no relation to what you do in the future.
“That’s why I don’t like much the statistics of previous matches and previous results and this kind of thing.”