Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United can win the Premier League, despite entering the Christmas period eight points behind league leaders Chelsea.
United’s 3-0 thumping of Liverpool was their sixth win in a row and consolidated their third place on the table, but Rooney believes United can now be considered dark horses in the race to the title, after they cut the gap from Chelsea from 13 points to eight in just over two weeks.
“We’ve been here before but we have a lot of new players and this is where the experience of myself, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher can rub off on the other players,” the United captain told the club’s official website.
“We have to keep winning our games and hopefully get back to the top and you never know. We’ve shown a great resilience.
“Some of the games haven’t gone the way we would like, but we’re winning them and that’s a great quality to have.”
Rooney added that United’s knack for getting results despite not performing at their best was shows the team is on the right track.
“We won the league two years ago and we weren’t great in a lot of those games, but we got the results. Sometimes you have to do that,” he said.
“I’ve seen Chelsea a couple of times this season where they’ve not played great but have nicked games as well.
“We need to try and get the performances right and, if we do that, the we’re confident we’ll win the games.”
Against Liverpool, none of United’s summer signing was in the starting XI, with Ander Herrera and Radamel Falcao only coming on as second half substitute, proof that Louis Van Gaal can get much more out of his players than David Moyes ever could.
Rooney has admitted that it’s taken time for the players to get used to Van Gaal’s methods but he insisted things were clicking into place.
“It was a massive change when the manager and the new staff came in and it was a lot for us to take in and adapt to the things around the training ground and on the pitch,” said Rooney.
“Naturally it takes time. But we’re all aware of what the manager wants both on and off the pitch and we’re doing everything we can to keep winning.
“We’ve all bought into his ways. He’s a great manager. He’s great with the players. He’s honest with the players who are playing and those who aren’t, which is great.
“We have a great team spirit. Everybody is pulling together. We all want to win. We all want to be successful and as long as we keep working we won’t be far away.”
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