Wayne Rooney is still a Manchester United fan, even if he’ll be doing his best to ensure they suffer on Thursday.
Rooney captains Derby County, who hosts that other club he captained in an FA Cup fifth round tie at Pride Park.
“I love the club,” said Rooney (full video interview here). “It’s a team I want to do well, I want to win but for this 90 minutes, 120 minutes I want them to lose to try and go through.”
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Rooney says he expects a raucous home crowd, and that the occasion is massive for everyone involved with the club. While he’s had bigger occasions, earning a quarterfinal berth by upsetting Manchester United would be huge.
“I’ve come here as a Manchester United player in the FA Cup and I know what it means to the fans, the players, the staff to have Manchester United come in,” he said. “It’s a big day for a football club, and a big challenge.”
Rooney admitted that he liked Derby County’s odds when the draw was first made.
He was asked what he thought of seeing the draw.
“That we had a chance,” he said. “At the time Manchester United weren’t in the greatest of form but they’ve picked up over the last few weeks.”
That was before United added Bruno Fernandes. There’s no guarantee the Portuguese will feature, given Sunday’s Manchester Derby. That’s another reason to believe a full-blooded Derby might just trip up the favored and seemingly second-choice visitors.Follow @NicholasMendola