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One day Rooney will be back home, says Mourinho

The former Man United captain received a warm reception on his return to Old Trafford.

Image: PA

JOSE MOURINHO HAS predicted Wayne Rooney will return to Manchester United in the future and insists he was not surprised to see the forward warmly welcomed back to Old Trafford by the club’s fans.

The 31-year-old returned to his former ground with Everton in his first appearance against United, with whom he spent a successful 13 years, since re-joining his boyhood club in July.

United ran out 4-0 winners, but Rooney was substituted with eight minutes remaining when the deficit was just one and was afforded a huge ovation by the home supporters, as well as receiving a handshake from Mourinho on the touchline.

Manager Mourinho praised his side’s fans for their respect and is confident Rooney, the captain during his first season in charge at Old Trafford, will be back in some capacity in the future.

“I didn’t need to ask,” Mourinho said of the generous reception given to Rooney.

“It is the nature of English fans and big clubs when a player is big in the club and has an important part of the club’s history.

“I think every club in England has that. I can only speak about Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, and in both stadiums when you have former players, the reception is normally phenomenal. No surprise at all.

“He is at home and one day I believe he will be back home.”

Meanwhile, Mourinho believes his side’s 4-0 win was harsh on Ronald Koeman’s men after the hosts scored three times in the last seven minutes.

Antonio Valencia’s fourth-minute stunner got United off to a brilliant start, but it took them a while to really finish Everton off. The visitors produced a solid display for much of the Premier League match, particularly in the second half when they were only denied an equaliser thanks to the heroics of David De Gea.

United then surged home late on, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and an Anthony Martial penalty blowing Everton away.

Mourinho felt that, although United’s performance in the first half was arguably their best of the season, a four-goal deficit was harsh on Everton.

He told Sky Sports: “I think the performance was very good, especially in the first 30-35 minute, it was probably our best performance of the season.

“We pressed them and they did not have a chance to get out, they did not have a shot, it was very impressive. After that, Everton’s good players came out and showed their qualities.

“They gave us difficulty but I looked behind me on the bench and saw alternatives.

“The Premier League now is becoming very trendy with five at the back, so the best way to play against that is to play five at the back yourself.

“When you try not to match the tactical system of the opponent, you take risks. So we played with three up top plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“You have to kill the game and give them little chances. There was a moment were I felt we did not kill it so we have to make it solid with Ander Herrera. The second goal went in, then game over.

“We brought some consistency to the game and then I felt we could go with the counter, with Martial for the last minutes for a result that was too much, too heavy for them, they don’t deserve to go with this result.”

The win was Mourinho’s first over Koeman in six Premier League meetings and it will undoubtedly pile more pressure on the Dutchman, with Everton now six matches without a win in all competitions.

But Mourinho is certain that this is just a blip for Koeman and Everton.

“Everton are going to be fine but they are living a difficult moment,” he said. “The fixtures they have got [early in the season], I would not like this all together at the same time.

“I would like one of the top five, but all of them? That is not fair for them.”

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