Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has backed Mauricio Pochettino to be the next permanent manager of Manchester United following Jose Mourinho’s shock dismissal earlier this week.
The Red Devils played their first match since the Portuguese departed on Saturday night, winning 5-1 under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – their biggest goal haul since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.
Rooney was in Cardiff on punditry duty for BT Sport for the game and, despite being impressed with his old teammate’s debut game, would not give him the job.
Asked who he wants to be the next permanent manager of United – Solskjaer, Zinedine Zidane or Pochettino – Rooney replied simply: ‘Poch.’ Michael Owen and Danny Gabbidon, who were also in the studio, both agreed that Pochettino was the number one man for the job.
Speaking about the feel-good factor that has returned to Old Trafford following Solskjaer’s appointment, Rooney continued:
‘Of course I stay in touch with a lot of people at the club. ‘I’ve spoken to them quite a lot certainly this week and I think to be a successful football club you need everything to be right.
‘You need the staff at the training ground to be right, the groundsman whoever that is to feel happy and that rubs off on the players and I think that relationship between some of the staff and the players obviously wasn’t great.
Bringing Ole in, bringing Mick Phelan in that’s already changed. ‘The staff at the training ground are smiling, they’re happy, and that rubs off on the players. I think it’s a good move for the club while it gives the more time to get the right manager in place in the summer.’