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By ESPN Staff

Rooney pleads with Fergie over Carling Cup

Wayne Rooney has pleaded with Sir Alex Ferguson to let him play in tomorrow's Carling Cup tie with Coventry at Old Trafford.

Under normal circumstances, Rooney would be excused involvement as Ferguson takes the opportunity to give him less experienced players some exposure at senior level.

However, two games into his comeback from a broken foot, Rooney is desperate to face Iain Dowie's men - and has even laid claim to the captain's armband.

'Wayne Rooney's been in my ear wanting to play,' Ferguson told Manchester United Radio.

'He wants to play, he wants to be the captain, he wants to take the penalties, the corners, the free-kicks, the goal-kicks, the lot.'

Rooney is likely to get his wish, even if it is just to get Ferguson a bit of peace.

The England striker will be joined by fellow first-team stars Anderson and Nani and, possibly, John O'Shea, who has missed three games after injuring his knee on Republic of Ireland duty in the Czech Republic a fortnight ago.

Tellingly though, Owen Hargreaves was not among a list of players Ferguson confirmed will be involved, a firm indication the England man is still to recover from a thigh injury suffered in training with the national team three weeks ago.

'There is a real buzz about the place and we are really looking forward to it,' said Ferguson.

'It will be a fantastic atmosphere and I am sure Coventry will have a real go.

'From what I am led to believe, Coventry are bringing over 10,000 fans with them.

'They were one of the longest-serving top-flight clubs at one point but they have been out of the Premier League now, which probably explains the attraction. It should be a real cup tie.'