Manchester United will have a perfect opportunity to redeem themselves against neighbours Manchester City when the sides clash in the fourth round of the League Cup, captain Wayne Rooney has said.
Pep Guardiola’s side drew first blood in the Manchester rivalry this season, beating United 2-1 away in the Premier League on Sept. 10, triggering the first of three successive defeats for Jose Mourinho’s side.
United got back to winning ways against third tier Northampton Town in the cup encounter on Wednesday and Rooney will be looking for revenge against City when the sides clash at Old Trafford in late October.
“For me, I think it’s the perfect draw,” he told MUTV. “With what happened in the league, it’s a chance for us to get revenge for that result. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.
“I think City will have 7,000-8,000 fans here, which will obviously make it an even better atmosphere. I think a cup game against City at Old Trafford is the perfect draw for us.”
Rooney also remains convinced that United will be in contention for silverware this season, despite an underwhelming start.
“I think he’s (Mourinho) been brilliant since he’s come in,” the midfielder said.
“Training has changed a lot. The training has been really good and it’s interesting to see how he prepares for games with tactics, how we approach games, and it’s been really good.
“I’m sure obviously we will come back and definitely be challenging this season.”
The 30-year-old has come under intense media scrutiny for his lacklustre performances this season but Rooney said he chose to ignore “rubbish” criticism.
“Yeah, I think I’ve had that my whole career… a little bit more of late, I think, but that’s football,” he added.
“I listen to my coaches and my team mates, the people around me, and I don’t really listen to what a lot of people out there are saying because a lot of it is rubbish.
Seventh-placed United host champions Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday. (Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)