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Allardyce will rely on Rooney in the Derby

Manager wants the veteran to calm things down

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Everton v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

For his first Merseyside Derby, Sam Allardyce is hoping that Wayne Rooney will provide Everton with some veteran leadership as they prepare to face Liverpool’s attacking prowess.

Speaking to The Telegraph ahead of the game at Anfield,

“Wayne has seen and done it all before so he’s got a big part to play in that when we’re going down the tunnel against Liverpool. I think mentality is everything to start with. If you show any fear then Liverpool generally take advantage of that but if you show a good positive attitude of what you intend to do and how you intend to do it, they then know they are in for a difficult game.

“I know he’s back at Everton, and it’s Everton versus Liverpool, but there have been lots of games called Manchester United versus Liverpool that he’s been involved in and he has to use that.

“It’s very similar. As an Evertonian he is desperate to do well, as he was when he was at Manchester United and was desperate to beat them then. You want to calm the players down instead of geeing them up. I think Wayne can handle that. There are occasions when you see players getting over-emotional because of that atmosphere and then they can do one or two strange things.”

Everton have struggled to find goals this season especially away from home, and as the team’s top scorer, Rooney will have the added responsibility of getting the goals as well.

“We have to do it as a team but we want Wayne to play a big part in that team performance. He has the ability to create problems. So we have to feed him enough ball if we possibly can.

“Everton is his club and he can use all that experience to deliver the kind of performance he gave against West Ham where he scored a hat-trick. It would mean it would give us a chance to create and score a goal with that type of performance.”

It sounds like Rooney has already won himself a starting spot in Big Sam’s XI for the game.