Sir Alex Ferguson has shrugged off media criticism of Wayne Rooney following the striker’s controversial substitution last night. Rooney, substituted for Michael Owen in the 63rd minute, exchanged words with fans near the dugout before throwing his boots into the ground. The incident, which lasted no more than 10 seconds, came as Rooney approached the bench following his substitution.
“Someone mentioned it to me, but I never saw anything,” Ferguson told Sky Sports after the match.
“I do know the fans made the loudest noise I have ever heard. They never stopped the whole night.”
“It was always part of our thoughts to bring Wayne off. He had been playing as the lone striker for an hour, which is why he was always going to come off. He is never pleased to come off. He has so much energy he wants to play all the time.”
While dismissing the media-driven concern over Rooney, Ferguson was concerned about the ‘laser’ being targeted by fans at his players. The red dot appeared on several players during the match, especially the Northern Irish defender Johnny Evans.
“It was in the first-half, although thankfully the police did something about it,” said Ferguson.
“They managed to get the culprit, which is good because I noticed it particularly on Jonny Evans. It seemed to be on him all the time.”