MANCHESTER United captain Wayne Rooney insists the blame for the club’s nightmare season is on the players and not manager Louis van Gaal.
The Dutch manager has been widely criticised for the club’s fortunes this season after United failed to make it out of their Champions League group, as well as indifferent league form that has seen them slip out of the top four.
Six points separate fifth-placed United from local rivals Manchester City in fourth place, and that gap would have been just three had United managed to defeat relegation-threatened Sunderland on Saturday, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat.
While Van Gaal has had to shoulder the majority of the blame from media and fans, Rooney said the players have simply underperformed.
“It’s a very good group of players,” said the United and England skipper. “At times it’s been frustrating for us as we’ve under-performed.
“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.
“At times this season we haven’t done that. In terms of that, we’ve probably got off quite lightly and the manager has taken a lot of it.
“But we’re going on the pitch. We have to create chances and win games and we haven’t done that enough this season.”
Despite the club’s struggles, Rooney believes United should focus on winning silverware this season, with the club still alive in the FA Cup and Europa League.
“The important thing now, I feel, is to win trophies again this season,” he said. “It’s been a few years since we won a trophy.
“This is more or less a new team so for ourselves, as a team, we need to win something. The fans want to see us win something again.
“Obviously the Champions League is massive for this club and it was disappointing to go out of it.
Culled from www.SuperSports