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Wayne Rooney explains why he blanked Man Utd fans during pre-season clash with Derby County

Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
 2021-07-18

Wayne Rooney has assured Manchester United fans there are no hard feelings after he ignored calls to give them a wave during the pre-season clash with Derby County.

The Rams boss was coming up against his former side for the first time since becoming a manager.

Goals from Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri were enough for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to win the game 2-1, although there were reasons for optimism for the Championship outfit.

Derby only survived in the second tier on the final day of last season and have a number of trialists in place in order to fill out their threadbare squad.

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Derby boss Wayne Rooney admitted it was special to come up against his old side

But Rooney was pleased with his charges for keeping it close and could have levelled shortly after Colin Kazim-Richards’ goal from 25 yards.

It’s just the second time United’s dedicated away fans have been able to watch their side, following a pocket making the trip to the Europa League final back in May.

A small section were inside Pride Park and attempted to get the attention of the club’s record scorer throughout the game, but failed to get a response.

Asked if it was special to come up against his old side, he told RamsTV: “Yeah of course, it’s a club I’ve got huge ties with, I spent 13 years there. It was nice to see some old faces, some old friends today.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get the result, but it was a good game, a competitive game. The fitness work the lads will have taken from it, but there were also really positive moments which pleased me.

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Tahith Chong opened the scoring for Man United in the 2-1 win

On him appearing to blank supporter chants, he added: “Of course I respect the club. I love United and there will be times when I am watching them as a fan.

"But my loyalty today has to go to Derby County and my players and that's all I was focussing on.”

There was also a reunion between Jesse Lingard and Derby, with the United midfielder returning to the stadium he played at during the 2015 season.

Lingard was back in Solskjaer’s team after spending the second half of last season with West Ham, with the United boss pleased with his showing.

"Jesse has come back, he’s been bright and he wants to fight for his place," Solskjaer said. "There’s nothing better than seeing players willing to fight for their place. Of course, what he did towards the end of the season, that is the true Jesse.”

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