Louis van Gaal backs Wayne Rooney to deliver goals for Manchester United
Last Updated: 18/08/15 5:53pm
Louis van Gaal has dismissed concerns over Wayne Rooney’s quiet start to the season and insists he has every faith the Manchester United captain will deliver goals.
United’s Premier League campaign has got off to a good start with consecutive 1-0 wins over Tottenham and Aston Villa but Rooney has been uncharacteristically quiet while playing in his favoured role as a striker.
Van Gaal put his faith in Rooney to lead United’s attack when he elected not to take up an option to buy Radamel Falcao and sold Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce and the United boss remains comfortable with that decision.
"All the media has written for one year that I have to put him in the striker’s position, so it’s amazing that after two games you are doubting your own opinions,” Van Gaal said.
“I cannot understand that. I have always confidence in my players."
While United’s winning start to the season has pleased Van Gaal, he admits the team is far from the finished product and knows they must continue to improve.
"We have a long way to go this season, but we have had a better start than last year and also two clean sheets,” Van Gaal said.
The board, the players and the fans want to participate [in Europe], so the pressure is high. We have to show our quality against a good team, but it is not an easy game.
Louis van Gaal
“That says about our structure and balance, so I have confidence that we will develop ourselves to a much higher level and I expect that also from my players."
After a season in the wilderness for United, European football returns to Old Trafford on Tuesday when Club Brugge visit for the first leg of the Champions League qualifying play-off.
Van Gaal acknowledged the pressure is on his team to progress but he is expecting a stiff test from Brugge.
"There's a lot of pressure because our aim and goal is to reach the Champions League group stage,” Van Gaal said.
“These kinds of matches are difficult. Brugge can defend very well. They can attack also, so it shall be a difficult match. That is why the pressure is high.
"The board, the players and the fans want to participate [in Europe], so the pressure is high. We have to show our quality against a good team, but it is not an easy game."
Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini is available to feature for United as his three-game domestic ban does not apply to European football while defender Phil Jones remains out with a mild form of thrombosis.