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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal backs Wayne Rooney despite poor start

18 Aug 2015, 13:06 IST
Wayne Rooney Manchester United Striker
Rooney had only a solitary touch in Villa’s box in United’s 1-0 win over them 

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has expressed his faith in his captain Wayne Rooney playing as the striker for the Red Devils ahead of the Champions League qualifier first leg. The Daily Mail reported Wayne Rooney’s dismay at his poor performances in the first two games for United, the  second one against Aston Villa saw him register only a single touch in Villa’s penalty box.

The Old Trafford side started the season with only two recognised strikers in Rooney and Javier Hernandez – who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid. They also have a youth striker James Wilson who could step up to the task but for a team expected to be challenging for the Premier League title, the strikeforce seems like a weakened one. 

They have managed to win two of their Premier League games so far by a single goal margin, showing few signs of serious attacking threat. It’s a problem that Van Gaal is surely considering, but speaking ahead of the game, he put his faith in the English captain despite the poor showing in the Premier League games so far.

He said: “‘I always have confidence in my players. We don’t only have Wayne Rooney in the striker’s position. We have Adnan Januzaj, who played in the USA (on tour) as a striker. I gave him that chance and he showed he can do that.

“We have Chicharito (Hernandez) and James Wilson. I don’t think we have a lack of strikers.”

The Dutch manager will lead his team into battle in the UCL qualifiers beginning with the first leg tie against Club Brugge at 12:15 AM (IST) on August 19 at Old Trafford. When the two teams meet, the fans and coach alike will be hoping that Rooney can recapture his form of the old days and start firing for the Red Devils given the importance of the occasion.

As United return to European action after a year’s hiatus from the competition, it is massive occasion of the team. Speaking about the importance of the game, Van Gaal highlighted the immense amount of pressure the players will be under, saying: “Of course, because the players and the board and especially the fans want to participate in the Champions League.

“There is a lot of pressure. It will be a difficult match and that is why the pressure is high.”

The second leg of the tie will be played at Jan Breydel Stadium on 27 August, 12:15 AM (IST)

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