Manchester United’s current plight is the fault of the players on the pitch and not the man in the dugout, according to captain Wayne Rooney.
The Red Devils currently lie fifth in the table, six points adrift of the Champions League places and the betting suggests it is now a matter of when and not if Jose Mourinho replaces current manager Louis van Gaal.
However, according to Rooney the Dutchman is not to blame and instead it is he and his team-mates who should shoulder the responsibility.
“The manager has taken a lot of stick for some performances (but) it’s down to us – we’re players and we have to perform. At times this season we haven’t done that. In terms of that, we’ve probably got off quite lightly and the manager has taken a lot of it,” the England captain explained.
“We have to create chances and win games and we haven’t done that enough this season. The important thing now, I feel, is to win trophies again this season.”
Rooney also highlighted the importance of securing Champions League football for next season but with United currently odds-against for a top four finish at 4/1 a Europa League triumph could be the Old Trafford club’s best chance.
However, with Borussia Dortmund (6/1) and Napoli (10/1) ahead of United (11/1) in the betting it’s clear Rooney and his team-mates will need a sharp upturn in form if they are to win the continent’s second-string competition.
Next up for United is a trip to Norway to face FC Midtjylland for which Van Gaal’s men are priced as 8/13 favourites.
Win comfortably and Rooney’s claims that the Dutchman is not at fault could start to resonate. Lose though and the buck will surely stop with the gaffer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.