The 28-year-old has enjoyed a spectacular start to the pre-season, as he looks forward to a fresh start under his new manager
By Alex Moretto in Ann Arbor
Wayne Rooney is thrilled with his role under new manager Louis van Gaal and hopes their promising pre-season is a sign of things to come for Manchester United.
While it was not all doom and gloom for the 28-year-old last year, scoring 17 goals and adding 12 assists in the Premier League under David Moyes, the Red Devils stumbled to a seventh-place finish as they missed out on European football.
Rooney hopes the team have turned a corner under the Dutchman and claims that he is having a lot of fun playing in the 3-5-2 system that has seen him score four goals in their first three pre-season matches.
“The system has been very good,” the striker told reporters following training at Michigan Stadium. “Obviously the manager has come in and we have been training in a different system, but it’s great, even at my age, to learn something new and try and get better with the team.
“We have to get better and over the next few weeks I’m sure we will. It’s been great so far and hopefully the results will keep coming, starting Saturday.
“In the system we have played in the first few games, I’ve enjoyed my role, so I’m looking forward to continuing and scoring goals which will hopefully help to make us successful.”
A win over Real Madrid on Saturday would see Manchester United advance to the International Champions Cup final and, despite it being a pre-season tournament, Rooney is keen to see the team win their fourth game on the trot under Van Gaal.
“It would be fantastic if we could play Man City rivals in the final, but first of all we have a game against Real Madrid tomorrow and it’s important for us to win,” the England international added. “We want to win the game and end the group as leaders.
“It’s amazing to play in front of so many fans in a pre-season game. It’s going to be a great experience so hopefully we can put on a good show and win.
“The pitch is very soft. The ball doesn’t roll as well as you would like it to, but there’s nothing we can do about that. We have to adapt to the conditions and do the best we can do. Our aim is to go out and win the game so we can get to the final on Monday.”
Their match versus Real Madrid will be played at Michigan Stadium, nicknamed the Big House, in front of a sell-out crowd of 109,000 expected to be present, which would set a United States record for attendance in the sport.