Captain Wayne Rooney said Manchester United’s FA Cup triumph on Saturday will lift the whole club, regardless of whether manager Louis van Gaal stays or not.
Van Gaal’s first piece of silverware at United may not be enough to keep him in the job for the third and final year of his contract, with reports suggesting he will be replaced by former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho in the coming days.
United won the FA Cup 2-1 after extra time against Crystal Palace, courtesy of Jesse Lingard’s superb winner.
“It is an important moment for the football club,” Rooney said.
“Since Sir Alex hasn’t been here we haven’t won a trophy and we have a fairly new squad who haven’t won much together. It could be a really important moment for us.
“Hopefully the young lads who have their hands on their first trophy – Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial – can feel what I felt when I won mine, which was a lot of determination and desire to win more. Hopefully they get that, it can be a major factor for us.”
Rooney would not be drawn in on the speculation surrounding Van Gaal but said the team had to improve after falling below the agreed standards at the club, regardless of who was in charge next season.
“There has to be an improvement next season. Certainly in the Premier League [United finished fifth] it wasn’t good enough, we dropped too many points,” Rooney said.
“We wanted to finish at least in the Champions League places and we haven’t.
“You have to set yourself standards and we fell below them this season. You have to make sure as players we get back to those standards and we start challenging for the main trophies.
“I said after the Bournemouth game we finished where we deserved to finish so we have to improve on that, we know that. And hopefully we will.”
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