Former Manchester United star Andy Cole does not expect a single omission against Real Madrid to determine Wayne Rooney's future at Old Trafford, and says being left out of the clash with the Spanish champions will not jeopardise the England striker's future with the club.
Sir Alex Ferguson's failure to start with Rooney for the second leg of the Champions League last 16 tie with Real Madrid brewed a media storm, with reports suggesting Manchester United were preparing to sell the player in the summer transfer window.
The Manchester United manager has, however, refuted such claims and says Rooney will offered the opportunity to extend his stay with the club beyond the terms of his current contract, which expires in 2015.
While Rooney still remains an important part of Ferguson's plans moving forward, the 27-year-old's position of supremacy at Manchester United is no longer guaranteed with Robin van Persie also entrusted to score the goals.
Cole experienced something similar during his time with Manchester United, as the signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy raised questions about his future with the club. But, while arrival of the Dutchman prompted Cole to leave, the former Red Devil has urged Rooney not to make the same mistake.
"You make decisions for a reason and for me it was simply because I wanted to play. I don't think Wayne is in the same position. [Rooney] is 27 so he is definitely not in that position. I was 30-31 so it was different," Cole told The Mirror.
"I don't look at it as a problem for him, because one game cannot determine your career at a football club or affect it. Look, everyone must make a decision but you don't make it on one game.
"The manager leaves big players out of big matches. It has happened down the years.
"In the Treble-winning year, we get to the FA Cup final and he leaves players out; the last game of the Premier League season, he left players out against Tottenham - I was one of them; he left players out of the European Cup Final. It happens."