Belfast Telegraph

Van Gaal wants a relaxed Rooney

Louis van Gaal has told Wayne Rooney he must relax if he is to be a successful leader of Manchester United.

Van Gaal takes charge of his first competitive match as United boss on Saturday when Swansea come to Old Trafford.

It will also be the first time Rooney has led the team out in his new role as United's full-time captain.

Rooney was announced as the club's skipper on Tuesday night, following the 2-1 win over Valencia.

Rooney also wore the armband in the friendly victory, but he put in a sub-par performance on the night, missing a penalty in the first half.

Van Gaal believes Rooney has the potential to be an excellent United captain, but the Dutchman thinks the striker must not be over-awed by the responsibility.

"I said to him (after the Valencia game): 'Maybe it was too much for you as a captain'," Van Gaal said.

"But I said to him - 'let it fly', because when we were (on tour) in the US, he scored a lot of goals, and made a great amount of assists so I wanted to say that."

Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck are unavailable.

Swansea welcome back Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge.

Both wingers missed the Swans' final pre-season game at home to Villarreal last week - Routledge had a foot injury while Dyer was attending the birth of his son.

But Swansea boss Garry Monk is without knee-injury victims Leon Britton, Marvin Emnes and Jay Fulton.

Monk aims to spoil van Gaal's opening-day Old Trafford party by proving that both he and Swansea belong in the Premier League.

Monk insists he has to prove himself more than his celebrated counterpart after he was finally appointed on a permanent basis in May following three months as interim boss in the wake of Michael Laudrup's departure.

"I think I probably need to prove myself a bit more than he does after the career he has had," Monk said.

"He is in a different situation to me. He is at one of the biggest clubs in the world and at that level the importance of winning trophies is massive so that is a different type of pressure.

"My pressure comes from my experience being questioned, and that is a different type of question."

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