Rooney hails Mourinho’s ‘winning mentality’


London (AFP) – Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes new manager Jose Mourinho has restored a “winning mentality” at Old Trafford.

Mourinho was brought in after the end of last season following the sacking of Louis van Gaal.

United have failed to win the league since legendary manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, with David Moyes and Van Gaal, who oversaw an FA Cup final victory last season, failing to live up to the exacting standards set by the Scot.

But Rooney believes the arrival of Portuguese manager Mourinho, who has 17 major trophies to his name, including eight league titles in four countries and two Champions League successes with different clubs, will help propel United back towards the summit of the Premier League.

“It’s always great to get a new manager but when you get someone in the stature of Jose Mourinho he’s great to work under and he’s brought a winning mentality back to the club,” Rooney told Manchester radio station Key 103 on Friday.

“Manchester United as a football club we have to win and we have to deliver for him,” the England captain added.

“There’s pressure on the players but we’re ready and I think this season we’ll give a real challenge on all fronts.

“He’s come in, he’s been great with the players. The training has been hard but enjoyable.

“We’re ready, we’re working hard. We know it’s a big season for us.

“He’s made, in my opinion, some great signings who have gelled in really well with the squad so it’s exciting times,” the 30-year-old striker added.

Rooney needs just five more goals to break United’s all-time scoring record held by England great and 1966 World Cup-winner Bobby Charlton.

He, is however, already planning for life after his playing days are over.

“I’ve started taking my coaching badges now so that will probably take about four or five years to complete,” Rooney said.

“Of course I’ve got a lot of experience playing football so I think it would be criminal if I didn’t try and pass that knowledge on, so hopefully when I finish playing I can get some role as a manager or coach and try and use the experience I’ve built up over the years.”

Mourinho has already brought in several players to United, including defender Eric Bailly, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Old Trafford club are also understood to be pursuing a potentially record-breaking deal for Juventus’s France midfielder Paul Pogba.

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