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Wigan chairman Whelan: Man Utd boss Ferguson will support Rooney

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has no doubt Wayne Rooney will be fully supported by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over the scandal to hit his private life.

After meeting Sir Alex on his return to training with United at Carrington yesterday to prepare for tomorrow's daunting trip to his previous club Everton, Rooney will be continuing his efforts to patch up his marriage with Coleen.

Whelan, who played for Blackburn in the 60s, told the Manchester Evening News: "I feel so sorry for Wayne and have the utmost sympathy for him because he's a sensible lad and, if he has slipped up, then he will realise this. The best thing for him to do is to sit down with Sir Alex and heed the great man's advice, just as a father would advise his son.

"He can listen and learn because Sir Alex is a master and he will help Wayne. He's the best man to handle the situation.

"Believe me, it's extremely difficult trying to tell a player what he can do and what he cannot do in his life. Wayne has a great man to turn to in Sir Alex and, don't forget, the whole world is not perfect.

"Nowadays, the focus on the modern-day footballer is so much greater and far more instant than when I was playing. Players are now under total scrutiny for 24 hours, seven days a week and all year round.

"They are tracked and the slightest thing that goes wrong is flashed around the world in an instant. It's unbelievable pressure they are under but players have got to be careful. But I do sympathise with them.

"The majority of the players are good lads - they're a credit to their profession, they behave, they're in tip-top condition, they live a normal family life and they reap the benefits.

"The secret is to be disciplined in behaviour and towards such things as alcohol. You have to make sacrifices and you have to live a decent life."

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Tribal Football Staff

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