• Premier League

Moyes defiant over Rooney selection

ESPN staff
September 15, 2013
Wayne Rooney returned from injury wearing protective headgear at Old Trafford © Getty Images

David Moyes insists he made the right decision in starting Wayne Rooney during Manchester United's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, despite the striker continuing to recover from a head injury.

Rooney was forced to wear a protective headband for the match to protect the cut he suffered at training two weeks ago, which required ten stitches.

But Rooney's swift return to action raised doubts over his omission from the England squad for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, given doctors expected Rooney to be sidelined for up to three weeks.

Moyes has rubbished those claims, revealing he deemed Rooney to be match fit and wanted to get him on the pitch for as long as possible.

"It was a difficult decision," he said. "We were going to see how he felt with it [the headband], but until Friday we hadn't even got it. In my mind he's been training great, so I felt that if he could wear it then we would try and get him out [for Saturday's game].

"Because of his lack of match practice, I felt if I could get him 90 minutes it would go a long way towards the overall goal of getting him match sharpness and match fitness. He looks fine. He went for a couple of headers as well with it. It looked as if he didn't feel any problem protecting it, but as I'm sure you've all seen, it's a really bad cut he had."

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