London: Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney has backed his under-fire manager Louis Van Gaal, saying that players should be blamed for the club’s dip in form this season and not the Dutchman. Van Gaal has come under severe criticism following United’s repeated poor performances and after the club’s early exit from the Champions League.
Admitting that Van Gaal had shouldered the majority of the blame from media and fans, Rooney insisted that it was players who had underperformed. “And actually the manager has taken a lot of stick for some performances.It’s down to us, we’re players and we have to perform,” the 30-year-old was quoted as saying by goal.com.
Rooney believes that his side failed to perform at their absolute best this season, maintaining that United did not create enough chances in their matches. The skipper, however, called on his side to focus on winning trophies for the club, insisting that United should try to make top four Premier League finish. “We’ll keep going in the league, keep trying. But our main aim has to be to make sure we can get in that top four.And then the Europa League, it would be great if we can win that. It’s not where we wanted to be at the start of the season, Rooney added.
Earlier, United suffered a humiliating 1-2 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Sunderland in their Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light. United are currently fifth in standings and are six points behind Manchester City, which have entered the pre-quarters of the Champions League. United will now lock horns with Arsenal on February 28.