Wayne Rooney is set to make a return to the Manchester United starting line-up tonight, Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed, with the striker still reeling from a three match international suspension handed down by UEFA.
Rooney was handed a red card in England’s last qualifying match against Montenegro, for a 'kick' that resulted in a hefty ban that leaves the 25-year-old out of the group stages of the Euro 2012 tournament.
And while Ferguson was weary of starting Rooney against Liverpool on Saturday, the United manager says that the sharp shooter is now in the right frame of mind to get the Red Devils’ Champions League campaign back on track.
"When he came on he was quite bubbly. He was full of energy and enthusiasm,” Ferguson said of Rooney’s off-the-bench performance against Liverpool.
"He was desperate to get on actually, which is good because when he sat watching the game he probably said, 'I could be out there'. He'll be playing in this game."
Ferguson admitted that Rooney was shaken by the verdict over his international red card, with the penalty shocking many in the English footballing community.
"I think the initial news was a definite blow for him. He didn't expect that,” he explained.
"I don't think any of us did. To me, it was a silly action but it wasn't seriously dangerous. It was a slight reaction, but to get a three-match ban...
"When he realised it meant missing all the games for England and he might not be involved at all, that resonated in Wayne's mind. UEFA are strict in a lot of things and they've deemed it a three-match ban. I can't say any more on that."
United will be facing Romanian side Otelul Galati tonight, and after failing to win their first two Champions League group stage matches, Ferguson will be hoping that Rooney recaptures his form and can take the side to the top of Group C.