Wayne Rooney urges main players at Manchester United to step up

Wayne Rooney believes the main players should lead by example for Manchester United in order to avoid further disappointment during the ongoing season. The Red Devils have made a rather average start to the season with just six wins from their opening 12 matches and the run already sees them seven points behind the final Champions League position.

Speaking to MUTV, Rooney highlighted that Jose Mourinho will continue doing his job off the playing field but the onus is on the playing to show a strong character when they are in the game, he said: “Jose can do what I know he’ll be doing – he’ll be working with the team and setting them up. But I think a lot of the responsibility has to go on the players’ shoulders. They go on the pitch, they have to take that responsibility and they have to thrive on it.

“There will be tough moments throughout games, that is where the big characters have to lead by example on the pitch and almost drag the team through some games. You have got players like [Anthony] Martial, Pogba, [Marcus] Rashford, and Lukaku. When games aren’t going well, they need to be the players who can just get that goal which wins you the game and calms everyone down.”

United had recently experienced a relatively good month in terms of the Premier League football and the occasion saw Martial return to form with at least one goal in five successive top-flight games. Nonetheless, they went into the third international break with a rather unconvincing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City and the players need to put things right when they return to league action against Palace in a week’s time.

Mourinho’s side return to league action with winnable games against Crystal Palace and Southampton but they thereafter have a testing challenge on their hands with Arsenal and Liverpool to face in two of the next three fixtures. United are currently 12 points behind table-toppers Manchester City.