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Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 06:55 GMT 07:55 UK
Nielsen stands by Rooney red card
Wayne Rooney is sent off as Man Utd draw against Villarreal
Referee Kim Milton Nielsen insists he was right to send off Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney during their Champions League tie on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old Rooney was dismissed against Villarreal for reacting to a booking by clapping in Nielsen's face.

"Even sarcastic play is not allowed - the referee cannot accept that," Nielsen said on BBC Radio Five Live.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson earlier admitted his player, who has struggled to control his temper, deserved to go.

Rooney's temperament has repeatedly come into question and he was lucky to avoid being shown a red card in England's World Cup qualifying defeat to Northern Ireland seven days ago.

Nielsen, who famously sent off David Beckham for England against Argentina at the World Cup seven years ago, insists Rooney will not get special treatment if they meet again.

He added: "You start from zero every time, a new match. You cannot say it is a minus for him in the future."

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor revealed Rooney could seek advice on his troubles if he wished.

He said: "There is a great talent there and you just do not want to see it wasted for the sake of poor temperament.

"You hope that with the advice and help from his manager and team-mates, Wayne will realise losing his temper like that is counter-productive.

"It's a matter of counting to 10 and not reacting to situations.

"There is a much broader use of counselling and psychology among sports people these days, particularly for those who find themselves in difficult situations on and off the field."

Ferguson earlier said: "I don't think he (Rooney) gave himself a chance. You can't applaud the referee like that.

"The referee may have picked his prey giving Wayne a yellow card, but I think he had no choice with the red."

Ferguson revealed he was unsure why Rooney had been red-carded at first.

"I thought it was for touching the referee, but it was obviously for applauding him," said the Scot.

Ferguson admitted that the former Everton striker needs to stamp out his indiscipline.

"He's 19 years of age and a fiery character," said the Old Trafford chief. "We hope with maturity these things will evaporate.

"The important thing is to retain all his strength. We want to keep the good points and eradicate the bad ones."

England legend Terry Butcher agrees with Ferdinand, and reckons Rooney has only gone over the mark because he has shown how much he cares about success.

Butcher said: "Last year he didn't win anything at Manchester United. He went there in the hope he would win things, and win with England as well, and he is really hacked off that he has not won anything.

"Rooney lives on the edge at times because he plays better that way. He sails a bit close to the wind but a player like Rooney has to be like that, he has to be on the edge.

"His adrenaline has to be really pumping because then you get the best out of him. He is a phenomenal talent."

News conference: Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Interview: Man Utd's Edwin Van der Sar

Northern Ireland 1-0 England
07 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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