Howard thinks the absence of his former United team-mate Rooney is cause for optimism after the striker was sent off last weekend for kicking Stewart Downing against West Ham.
"It is great for us that Rooney won't be playing. Everyone has an opinion about him but as far as I am concerned, Wayne Rooney is a threat. He is a very dangerous threat.
"The more of those you can eliminate, the better. From his standpoint, it is disappointing he is suspended. But for us, it helps us. It is one less thing to worry about."
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