Ferguson backs Rooney to respond
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney will soon shake off the frustration of his FIFA World Cup™ performance. However, the Scot recognises the 24-year-old forward, who was far from his best in England colours, will be disappointed he has missed a big opportunity to impress on the big stage.
Rooney is not with Manchester United on their summer tour, which will begin with what Ferguson has called a "particularly difficult" opening fixture against Celtic on Friday night. He is being allowed to rest following his extended season, which ended with England's last-16 defeat by Germany in South Africa.
Ferguson is confident Rooney will put the FIFA World Cup behind him rather than dwell on his ineffective displays. Ferguson told Sportsnet.ca: "I don't expect a hangover. I think there'll still be a bit of disappointment in the lad.
"I think all the players coming back from the World Cup who didn't do well, who didn't reach their expectations may I say, will feel that they've missed something. That's because the World Cup's only once every four years.
"That's the horrible part of that tournament. We have several players who have come back very, very disappointed. We've Patrice Evra for instance, Wayne Rooney of course, and Nemanja Vidic."
There is a notable exception though, according to Ferguson - and a particularly pleasing one. "I think one player who will come back quite positive because he had a good World Cup was young Javier Hernandez from Mexico," said the 68-year-old.
"I think he did very well and he surprised a lot of people. So whereas we've got some disappointments from players like Wayne, Nemanja and Patrice, I think we're going to have a positive effect from Javier."
United stars of tomorrow
Hernandez, 22, is a new recruit for United, a forward who the club hope can make a big impact in the English game. And Ferguson has underlined his intention to promote young players into his team. He wants to give opportunities whenever appropriate to the emerging generation, to ensure they feel part of the club and belong in his plans.
Ferguson said: "The history of Manchester United is quite simple. It has always been based on young people and that's where we're more comfortable. I think our fans are more comfortable too.
"So producing players is a big incentive for us. We know the response we get from supporters when we produce a player through the ranks, through our youth system. It's a fantastically satisfying thing also.
"At the moment we have a collection of young players who have been growing up at the club for the last few years like (Danny) Welbeck and (Jonny) Evans and (Darron) Gibson, and (Federico) Macheda. These young players are developing very well at the club.
"Some players are coming through like young (Oliver) Gill, and young Corry, Jonny Evans's brother. So we've a fine collection of young players who if you don't give them an opportunity they're going to stagnate and move to other clubs who'll get the benefit of the work we've done with them.
"We've had experience of that in the past, so we try to avoid that as best we can and make sure we make the right decisions about these boys' careers, because most of them are very good talented players."