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The England forward reveals that, when at Everton, the atmosphere and importance of the Merseyside derby affected him physically in the build-up to local clashes

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney admits that, when playing for Everton as a youngster, facing Liverpool in the Merseyside derby used to make him feel sick.

The striker will line up against the Reds again at Anfield on Saturday, but still holds memories of the fierce local rivalry of which he used to be a part.

“We didn’t win many at Anfield,” Rooney told The Daily Mirror.

“I used to love the games, but to be honest before I used to feel sick I was so nervous, it was a horrible feeling.

“If you didn’t win the game, if you lost the game, it was dreadful having to go back to school and facing your mates who were Liverpool fans.

“All of my family are massive Everton fans, so to beat Liverpool is always a great feeling and a great day when you do that.

“It’s a big day for United with the rivalry with Liverpool, but for me it’s a massive game.”

The England forward feels that the weekend’s clash will be tough considering the improvements that he believes Liverpool have made under manager Kenny Dalglish.

“I think they’ve made some good signings and obviously with them not qualifying for the Champions League last season I think they’ll be desperate to get back into that,” the 25-year-old added.

“Anfield is always for me the toughest place to go and win a game. They’ll be pushing to get into the top four and, with the signings they’ve got, they’re capable of doing that.

“We’ll have to be aware of them and try and beat them this time.”

United are currently six points ahead of their rivals after an excellent start to the season, as they sit at the top of the Premier League table.


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