Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Solskjaer hails ‘fantastic old dog’ Rooney ahead of FA Cup clash

Manchester United Training Session

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 8: Wayne Rooney and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on September 8 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United via Getty Imag

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped unending praise upon Wayne Rooney ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup fifth-round clash with Derby County — Rooney’s current club — at Pride Park on Thursday.

[ MORE: Kane eyeing late-season return, will “definitely be at EURO 2020" ]

Solskjaer believes without a shadow of a doubt that Rooney a top-class player and one the Red Devils must contain in order to reach the quarterfinals. Given everything that Rooney has meant to Man United since making his debut back in 2004, Solskjaer is certainly relishing the opportunity to face one of his former teammates and a club icon — quotes from

“He gave absolutely everything for this club and we all appreciate what he’s done, but any goal he scores against us will be chalked off his goal tally, so he doesn’t want to score too many.

“Wayne will show what he can do, he wants to prove there is still fight in an old dog. We’ve got to be on our toes, don’t give him any space in and around the box, or in midfield, because you can see his [Paul] Scholes-like passing range.”

“He’s been a fantastic player for Man United. And he played here for so long. He’s the club’s top scorer, he won so many trophies.

“For me, I don’t think the fans underrate him, I think everyone really, really appreciates what he did for us, he’s still very welcome, he’s still around the place, he still comes to Old Trafford, so he will get a good reception from our away fans in that game.”

“I think he just wants to stay in the game, as many of us do, and he’s a great person, he makes everyone feel good – whether you are 80 or 10.

“He’s even my [son] Noah’s favorite player, not just because what he did as a player, but the kind of human being he was in and around the place.

“I’m sure when he becomes a manager he’ll affect his players. When he’s coaching, he’s so enthusiastic about the game and he knows the game.”

Follow @AndyEdMLS