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 Sunday, 15 December, 2002, 12:01 GMT
Moyes cools Rooney talk
Wayne Rooney skips past Martin Taylor
Rooney tormented the Rovers defence
Everton manager David Moyes played down the hype surrounding Wayne Rooney after the youngster's match-winning performance against Blackburn.

Rooney was on the scoresheet with a superbly-taken goal as Everton came from behind to beat Blackburn 2-1.

And the 17-year-old, who came in for Tomasz Radzinski, also hit the post as he gave the Rovers defence a torrid time.

"It's not the Wayne Rooney show, although we are aware of how important he is to us and how good his performance was," said Moyes.

"I felt that with so many games on the horizon Wayne was lacking a bit of match practice.

"Tomasz Radzinski has been sensational this season so it was not a case of leaving him out, it was a case of trying to get everybody fit and ready.

"No doubt there all going to be needed over the Christmas period."

Rovers boss Graeme Souness was furious with referee Graham Barber, who sent off Lucas Neill for the second time in 2002.

We were the best team and we had the best chances, while their keeper had a good day

Graeme Souness

"We knew we were in trouble when we saw the referee's name before the game," said Souness.

"I feel sympathy for Lucas because that's the second time Mr Barber has sent him off, and referees don't like admitting they are wrong as he had to do earlier this year in the FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough."

But Souness felt his side were the better team.

"We played lots of good football, we were the best team and we had the best chances, while their keeper had a good day and a lucky day.

"We play as much good football as anybody but what we don't do - and if we did we would be in the top three or four - is defend properly.

"If you look back at our season to date then we have played like that on many occasions, only to end up being mugged and that's how I feel again."

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