Jose Mourinho insists Wayne Rooney is still a big player for him despite dropping the Manchester United captain for the win over Leicester.
United were rampant in the first half at Old Trafford, scoring four goals and eventually beating the champions 4-1, with Rooney getting seven minutes on the pitch at the end of the game.
Juan Mata, his replacement, scored United’s second, but Mourinho insists Rooney is still a big part of his plans at the club.
He told Sky Sports: “A big player for me, a big player for United and a big player for this country. I have nothing else to say, he is my man, I trust him completely, he is happy as I am in this moment.”
Asked if Rooney was happy in the dressing room after the game, Moruinho added: “Of course, his team won, his United won. That’s normal.”
Mourinho refused to single out individual performances after the victory, which came after two straight defeats in the Premier League against Manchester City and Watford.
He said: “Who shone? The team. The team played very well. If you score four goals, your striker doesn’t score a goal, and I think Ibrahimovic played absolutely fantastic in the way he was key in our attacking football and our pressure. My team as a team played very well.
“Today we had intensity, movement, good dynamic, defensively we were very strong against a team that is easy to analyse but difficult to cope with. This time we analysed and coped.
“I think we started well for the first time, I can say, usually our second halves are better. We prepare for the games in the same way, with the same professionalism.
“We lost six points in the Premier League, but the reality is we are not drawing. We are winning, so we have four victories and 12 points.”
United have won four and lost two of their opening six games this season, a mixed start as Mourinho looks to push United to become title challengers again.
The Portuguese manager praised United’s first-half showing, and says he is unsure of a time the Old Trafford fans were treated to such a rampant 45 minutes.
“This result was about the performance, the security of the fans, and I don’t know the last time they had such a good performance and such a result at half-time,” he said.
“The performance was very good, in the second half nobody was expecting to score four more goals and win 8-0 so it was more about control.”