• Premier League

Rooney out to prove his worth to Van Gaal

ESPN staff
July 21, 2014
Louis van Gaal has made a positive impact at Old Trafford - and Wayne Rooney is intent on doing the same © PA Photos

Wayne Rooney admits he feels the need to prove his quality to Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during the club's pre-season American tour.

The striker endured a difficult summer with England at the World Cup and his club form was questioned last season.

But with Van Gaal having been unveiled as David Moyes' successor last Thursday, Rooney, who faces a battle with Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick over the United captaincy, is determined to impress.

Evra set to leave - and will be joined by others

  • Juventus are closing in on the signing of Patrice Evra, with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward saying others might be leaving the club soon.
  • Evra signed a one-year contract extension with United eight weeks ago, but the left-back has since been tolld he can leave Old Trafford if that is his wish.
  • His move to Turin had been put in doubt following the resignation of manager Antonio Conte but successor Massimiliano Allegri is keen to continue the club's pursuit and Evra's signing could be completed on Monday.
  • He will not be the only player to leave Old Trafford this summer though.
  • When asked whether there would be any other player departures, Woodward told MUTV: "Yes, I think so. The manager makes that decision and a few players have already gone and there may well be a few others that go.
  • "It's also worth commenting that we're not in Europe this year [so] there are less games, maybe the manager takes the view that he wants a tighter squad.
  • "If you do the analysis over last year, Liverpool performed extremely well with a smaller number of players but that's a decision for the manager."

"We all have to go out and show what we can do," Rooney said. "We have to show him every day in training what different qualities we have got as players and a team.

"Everyone wants to impress the new manager so that is what we are all aiming to do.

"We will try to put what we are doing in training into the games. Obviously, we have a manager with new ideas so we have to try to train well and make sure we are listening to what he wants to do and take that on to the pitch. We have to show him what we can do.

"I've only had one session but the preparation has been really good. I'm just looking forward to getting more sessions in before our first game."

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says Van Gaal has already made a positive impact at Old Trafford, while Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims the Dutchman will be "great" for the club.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, who left for QPR this summer, has backed Van Gaal to bring success back to the club - but says he will need to reinstall the winning mentality and confidence that was seemingly lost during Moyes' reign.

"After where we finished last season, [Van Gaal] needs to bring and create that winning mentality. That's huge," Ferdinand told BT Sport. "Any club that wants to win matches and trophies needs that."

"At a club like United, when you're within that bubble, when you lose a game it's the worst thing in the world. That's how it feels. When you win, everyone goes crazy but the players keep a lid on it and think 'next game, next game, next trophy'. When you lose, the downs are huge and so we never got out of that rut, it seems.

"He's got to create that winning mentality. Bring a confidence back to the squad after finishing seventh because it's embarrassing. You're playing there and you finish seventh, you don't want to go to the shops, you don't want to walk on the street, see anybody.

"He's got to start rebuilding all of that and it seems, after speaking to the lads who have been training there now, the confidence seems high.

"They need to get off to a winning start. I think it will set the tone perfectly for the season. Confidence will go through the roof and once Manchester United get that confidence going it's a hard juggernaut to stop."

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