Rooney ban doesn’t make Old Trafford trip easier, says Newcastle boss

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ALAN Pardew admits he’s relieved that Wayne Rooney won’t be facing Newcastle United tomorrow – but he doesn’t think the forward’s absence will make his team’s task any easier.

Rooney will serve a one-match ban tomorrow after picking up his fifth booking of the season in Wednesday night’s defeat to Everton.

Robin van Persie – who has a groin injury – will also be absent from the Manchester United starting XI at Old Trafford.

Asked about Rooney’s suspension, Newcastle manager Pardew pointed to face that Swansea City were without their two main strikers in midweek, and still beat his team 3-0.

“Wayne Rooney’s playing really well – we all know that,” Pardew said. “Obviously, I’m pleased he’s not playing!

“Swansea didn’t have their two main strikers last night and I don’t think they could have played any better.

“But they’d been unbeaten in 12 games before Everton. They’re in form. I think that game was a blip.”

Newcastle were only beaten by a 90th-minute goal from Javier Hernandez at Old Trafford last season, and Pardew says his players can take heart from their recent performances at the stadium.

“We drew there a couple of years ago, and last year we came close to winning. A couple of errors at the back of the game cost us,” he said.

“We’ve performed well there. I don’t want to be disappointed like I was last year.”

Meanwhile, Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey will face no action from the football association – despite appearing to aim a headbutt at Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy.

The incident was missed by referee Howard Webb, who also ignored two strong penalty appeals from United.

Shelvey – who went on to score the home side’s third goal – exchanged words with Debuchy before moving his head towards the defender’s, though there was no contact.

As such, the incident does not constitute violent conduct, and with Webb having been on the scene as the incident unfolded, Shelvey will not face retrospective action.