Wayne Rooney does not have to worry about losing his role as Manchester United captain, manager Jose Mourinho says.
Rooney was not included in Mourinho’s starting XI last week, coming off the bench in the win over Leicester City as well as the Europa League clash with Zorya Luhansk.
But Mourinho backed Rooney for his influence on the rest of the players in the team and said the captaincy has never been in doubt.
“Wayne is the captain, no matter what,” Mourinho told several English newspapers. “It doesn’t matter whether he is on or off the pitch.
“He is my captain and the captain of the club and the captain of the players. And that is difficult, to be the captain of everyone. So he has all the respect and all the support.
“He is a Manchester United man, he is a great professional and wants to win and of course he was happy when we scored.
“He is speaking to the players and motivates people. He does exactly in the dressing room the same as he did a couple of weeks ago when he was starting matches.
“He is our man. He will score goals for us and he will work hard for us, I have no doubts about it.”
And Mourinho said Southgate has more than his full support as he steps up to the challenge of leading the senior squad.
“If you ask me if am I happy with the decision to make Wayne captain, I will tell you that I am very happy,” Mourinho said of Rooney’s continued England role.
“Any good decision that Gareth takes about one of my players will always get my respect and support.
“Gareth always has my support — as Sam had, as Sven Goran Eriksson had, and all the other ones in my time as a Chelsea manager or Manchester United manager.
“Gareth is now the national team manager and doesn’t just have 100 percent respect from me, he has 200 percent respect. I think he was right to make Wayne his captain.”