Belfast Telegraph

I have no concerns over Wayne Rooney, insists United boss Louis Van Gaal

By Paul Hirst

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal maintains he has complete faith in Wayne Rooney despite his indifferent start to the campaign.

Rooney has been restored to his role as a central striker this season despite spending much of last term in midfield.

So far he has not had one shot on target in two matches. In Friday's 1-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa, the United skipper touched the ball in the away penalty box only once - and that was when he was trying to run down the clock in injury time.

Van Gaal has decided against buying a striker in the transfer market and seems to have an unshakeable belief in the 29-year-old.

"All the media has written for one year that I have to put him in the striker's position so it is very amazing that after two matches you already are doubting your own opinion. I cannot understand that," the United manager said in a spiky press conference on the eve of tonight's Champions League play-off against Club Brugge at Old Trafford.

"I have always confidence in my players but we don't have only Wayne Rooney in the striker's position.

"We have also Adnan Januzaj, Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) and (James) Wilson so I don't think we have a lack of strikers."

Januzaj, a surprise starter on Friday, scored the only goal at Villa Park.

Van Gaal was far from effusive in his praise of Januzaj after the match, and the Dutchman again did not give the 20-year-old a ringing endorsement yesterday.

"Adnan has eight starts last season and 14 substitutions (last season) so he didn't have any chances? This is not true," he said.

"The other players have no right (to start). Only Adnan has a right? No. He has to compete with 23 or 24 other players."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph