/ Soccer

United remain silent on Rooney fine report

Updated: Monday, 02 Jan 2012 17:10

Wayne Rooney sat in the Old Trafford stands as Manchester United suffered a shock defeat
Wayne Rooney sat in the Old Trafford stands as Manchester United suffered a shock defeat

Wayne Rooney and Manchester United are at one in their desire not to inflame the striker's disciplinary issues with Alex Ferguson any further.

It is understood Ferguson did fine Rooney, and Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson, and force the pair to train on their day off last week after ill-advised conduct on St Stephen's Day night.

Neither the club nor the player's representative wished to elaborate on the matter, nor even to confirm Rooney was axed from Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Blackburn as part of his punishment.

And now it has been dealt with, it seems the matter is now closed, or at least they have no wish to fuel it, realising United need to regain their focus after being granted a Barclays Premier League reprieve thanks to Sunderland's late win over leaders Manchester City, who remain ahead only on goal difference.

It at least provided an upbeat ending to an eventful 70th birthday weekend for Ferguson - who, prior to the Blackburn game, confirmed his intention to remain at Old Trafford for another three years.

He will need Rooney, and to a lesser extent Gibson, on Tyneside against Newcastle as his team look to bounce back from a rudderless performance at the weekend that was condemned by 19-year-old Phil Jones.

"Too slow, too laboured," he said.

"Our downfall was coming back too soon. We thought we had won it and we eased off. They punished us. On the manager's birthday as well."

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