Andy Cole says Rooney's return is bad news for Newcastle
Former Manchester United and Newcastle United striker Andy Cole is expecting the English Premier League champions to maintain the pressure on pacesetters Manchester City when his second play host to fourth at Old Trafford today.
Cole, who scored 55 times in 70 games at Newcastle before a controversial �7 million move in 1995 to the Theatre of Dreams, where he bagged 93 goals in 195 appearances, believes only a monumental defensive shift will allow the Magpies to return to Tyneside with anything to show for their efforts.
As Newcastle manager Alan Pardew prepares to pit his wits against Alex Ferguson at a ground, where his club have not celebrated victory since 1972, former England striker Cole said it will be tough for the Magpies to change that statistic.
"If Newcastle are going to get a result at Old Trafford and, who knows, get their first win there since 1972 then as Jose Mourinho would say, they will have to go there and park the bus outside their own penalty box," Cole said.
He further said that United striker Wayne Rooney's return -- he did not play mid-week's Champions League clash against Benfica due to injury -- could further spell trouble for Newcastle. "Wayne Rooney is the best English player around and if he is buzzing then so are United. If he's back in the squad Newcastle should watch out. He's the sort of player, who will not give the Newcastle defence a moment's rest even when things aren't going his way because he's so passionate about the game. He works ever so hard for the team and, of course, he is a fabulous finisher and also a real creative force," said Cole.
Ferguson confirmed Rooney's return at a press conference yesterday though there was bad new with Anderson set to be out until February with a knee injury. "Wayne Rooney should be okay for tomorrow. He trained yesterday, so hopefully he'll be okay," he said. Cole continued: "Wayne always seems to do well against Newcastle and United always seem to do well against Newcastle, so it will be a massive shock if this was an away win."