Mourinho: United captain Rooney's best day still to come despite historic Reading goal

Mourinho: United captain Rooney's best day still to come despite historic Reading goal

Jose Mourinho says Wayne Rooney's best moment will come when he breaks Bobby Charlton's record and becomes Manchester United's outright highest ever goalscorer, despite the skipper equalling Charlton's tally of 249 goals in their 4-0 FA Cup win over Reading.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney's best day is still to come, despite the striker joining club legend Bobby Charlton on 249 goals in their 4-0 FA Cup win over Reading on Saturday.

The competition's reigning champions cruised into the fourth round against former defender Jaap Stam's side at Old Trafford thanks to Rooney's early strike, Anthony Martial's classy finish and a late brace from Marcus Rashford.

But it was United skipper Rooney who stole the headlines as he levelled Charlton's club record in 543rd appearance in all competitions for United - and his manager believes the biggest highlight still awaits.

Mourinho told his post-match press conference: "I think the best day will arrive. This is not the best day for him. The best day will arrive, it's just a question of when.

"It's amazing because everybody knows who Sir Bobby is and what he means for the history of the club and the history of English football.

"For Wayne to score this number of goals for Manchester United is fantastic but best day will arrive.

"The best day is the day he scores the next goal and when he becomes the top scorer in the history of Manchester United. That's an amazing thing."

Mourinho hails "professional" performance

Rooney's effort was the crowning jewel of an accomplished United performance as they swept aside the Royals in impressive fashion for an eight consecutive win across all competitions.

On his manner of his side's performance, Mourinho praised it as "very professional" and explained: "I could feel it since the first minute. The first minute already, [we had] two big chances to score and the team was intense and dynamic, playing well.

"Obviously, as we expected, Reading are good with the ball so when we gave them the chance to play with the ball they moved it and created not big chances, but created some and played good counter-attacking football. 

"For a long time the game was still open at 2-0 but I'm really happy with our attitude. 

The Red Devils boss was asked about whether Martial, who contributed an excellent performance from the left wing, is now back in his stride and replied: "No, he played very well against Middlesbrough.

"But because he had not played for a long time, him and myself, felt that 48 hours later against West Ham, it was better not to start so today he was fresh.

"He was very objective, playing against a good player in Chris Gunter, he's a good right-back. He performed very well again but I think everybody, we could name lots of players, we could name [Marouane] Fellaini, we could name so many of them.

"But overall the team collectively played well again and we defended well and created lots of chances. Good."

Rashford played "so well", says Red Devils boss

19-year-old Rashford, who added a deserved late brace having gone close throughout, was one of United's star turns and Mourinho was pleased with the striker's performance after his game-changing contributions in the win at West Ham on Monday.

The United boss added: "I spoke with him at half-time.

"I told him that I don't care about the goals in the first-half because he had a big responsibility in the way we were breaking the defensive line. He was playing so well for us.

"One more goal, one less goal, it doesn't change [his performance]. But obviously for an attacking player to score a goal, it means happiness, it means confidence. His goals were good for him.

"He's very fast and the team with Marcus, we know how to change between him and Zlatan [Ibrahimovic]. We know the kind of movements we have to do. 

"With Marcus especially in the first-half, we were very objective and created lots of problems to Reading."

Mourinho: I saw nothing new from my players today

And the Portugese boss also declared that he already knew everything of what he saw from his team, which saw him make nine changes from the previous fixture, insisting that he saw "nothing new."

He continued: "I didn't learn, I just confirmed what I knew already. These people are professional and train so well and because they train so well, they can come here and perform the way they did.

"Ashley Young, his last match I don't remember when it was. I think it was in Ukraine, one-and-a-half months ago. He played 90 minutes. He could cope with 90 minutes of intensities.

"They train very well and have a big desire to play. They are very good friends in between them so they are always positive and when someone isn't playing, he's motivating another player and waiting for his opportunity.

"Everyone that played today gave me a very good answer but it was not a surprise for me."

On the injury that forced Marcos Rojo off after just 19 minutes, Mourinho confirmed that it was a muscle injury but couldn't give any timeline on the problem. 

"I don't know," he said. "A muscle, I have lots of question marks always and I don't like to say 'first degree, x days out, second degree'. Let's wait."

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