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Jose Mourinho has leapt to the defence of beleaguered Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

Believing the criticism he copped while playing for England recently affected his confidence.

Criticism directed at Rooney 'too strong', according to Jose MourinhoThe 30-year-old has been largely underwhelming for the Red Devils this campaign and has subsequently caught the wrath of fans and the media alike as to what position best suits him.

And Mourinho has cited the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification match against Slovakia, earlier this month as the reason for his drop in form. The Three Lions were unconvincing, winning that match 1-0 in stoppage time with Rooney receiving intense scrutiny over his performance and exact role in the team.

“Honestly, I think there was a Wayne [Rooney] before the Slovakia-England and a Wayne after the Slovakia-England,” Mourinho said. “And I am not blaming Sam [Allardyce], not at all. “I am blaming the people that after the England-Slovakia was, in my opinion, too strong.

“With somebody that is a very important player in the history of English football, is the captain of England, is the record of goals, is almost the record of matches.”I think it was too much but I still think, that a big boy like he is, he has to face it in a strong way.”

Mourinho also revealed Rooney does not receive any special treatment like he experienced under his predecessor Louis van Gaal. “No, not at all, he [Rooney] is my captain, he is the club captain, he is the players’ captain and that is difficult because sometimes you are the club captain because you have lots of years in the club,” Mourinho continued.

“Sometimes you are the manager’s captain because the manager likes you very, very much, sometimes you are the players’ but not the manager’s one. “He is trusted by the players, he is trusted by myself and he represents the club in a fantastic way as a player and person and what is now socially.”

Rooney has failed to score in his last six games for club and country and will be hoping that changes when his side host champions Leicester City on Saturday.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Gianluca Filosi, Twitter: @GianlucaFilosi
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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