herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Rooney: I'll end my goal drought

United skipper vows to improve form against Newcastle

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has backed Wayne Rooney to score over 20 Premier League goals this season.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has backed Wayne Rooney to score over 20 Premier League goals this season.

Manchester United have only played three games this season and Wayne Rooney's inability to score is already under scrutiny.

That's three games without even a shot on target for the striker.

"I've experienced this before and the goals will come, I know that," Rooney said. "I've had one bad game this season and everyone's all over it. I know I've had that throughout my career but hopefully at the weekend I can get off the mark."

When United host Newcastle tomorrow, Rooney will be searching for his first competitive goal for United since April 4, making it a nine-game drought going back into last season.

"I understand I have to be the one who's going to lead that line for us and try and the goals for us," the center forward said.

"My mind's clear. I know how to play the role. It's just a case of getting the chances and taking them."

Fortunately for Rooney - following the departure of fellow forwards Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao in the off-season - others have chipped in with goals.

New winger Memphis Depay contributed two in the 3-1 win over Bruges in the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Tuesday. Adnan Januzaj scored the only goal in the win over Aston Villa last week and an own goal gifted United an opening day victory over Tottenham in the Premier League.

Record

Rooney is only 19 goals from matching Bobby Charlton's club scoring record of 249.

The 29-year-old United captain said: "It would be nice to get off the mark. I've had one bad game this season and everyone's all over it. I've had that all throughout my career, but hopefully at the weekend against Newcastle I can get off the mark," he said.

"I'm an honest guy, I know when I haven't played well and against Aston Villa I was below my standards and I know that. I lost the ball too easily a lot of times and I'm aware of that. It's not a game I'll want to look back on (fondly) but you have games like. You have to move on.

"Fortunately I had a much better game against Brugge, could have got a goal or two. It's early on in the season. Everyone will write about the end of last season and the beginning of this but we're three games into the new season, it's down to me to keep going.

"I've experienced this before and the goals will come, I know that.

"I always set myself standards and I try to reach them. I understand it's on me to get the goals but Memphis Depay scored two against Brugge and Marouane Fellaini. Everyone has to chip in.

Meanwhile, Newcastle fans have been warned not to expect new signing Florian Thauvin to set the world alight straight away as he prepares for a debut at United.

The 22-year-old Frenchman, who completed a big-money move from Marseille on Wednesday evening, could be in line for his first taste of action with the Magpies at Old Trafford tomorrow.

However, head coach Steve McClaren's assistant Paul Simpson is urging supporters to give him time to settle into the Premier League.

Simpson said: "He's a really talented footballer, somebody who we hope will add to the group and improve the group.

"If he's involved at Old Trafford on Saturday, we're not expecting him to go and set the world alight straight away. But if we can get him involved, it will give the whole football club a boost, and the rest of the players because they want competition for places.

"And I also hope it will give the supporters a boost because so far, we've only got one point."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News