As things go from bad to worse for Manchester United, striker Wayne Rooney has urged his team mates to ‘bounce-back’ for the game against Olympiakos on Wednesday.
Following a 3-0 humiliating defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford, one that he himself conceded was the worst day in his life as a footballer, Rooney seems to be rallying his team-mates to fight for a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals as they look to host the Greek team.
Speaking after the loss against Liverpool, Rooney spoke about the need to move on and prepare for an important match on Wednesday in the only tournament where United are still relatively in competition.
“It’s disappointing, but we have to bounce back because we have a big game on Wednesday.”
The striker insisted that Manchester United have not given up on finishing fourth and will keep going till the end of the season.
“Who knows? It’ll be tough. We’ll keep going, you never know in football. As long as we’re in with a shot, we’ll keep going.”
“If it isn’t to be, it isn’t to be and we’ll move on. The most important thing now is to prepare for Wednesday.”
The striker praised the fans who stood firm behind the team as David Moyes’ United succumbed to yet another humiliating loss. Manchester United fans have been supportive of their stumbling manager but their patience seems to be stretching thin after yet another loss at Old Trafford. Three goals and a man down, United faithful did not give up at Old Trafford and kept the stadium alive with their vociferous support, something that did not go unnoticed by those in the dressing room.
“I thought the fans were magnificent. Towards the end, they were fantastic for us. Us, as a team in the dressing room, we really appreciate that. It’s difficult but we’ve been here before and this is where the character of the lads will have to shine through.”
“They were fantastic. The support they gave us was really great. Under such difficult circumstances, it was probably the best it’s been. They stuck behind us until the last minute and, as we were walking off the pitch, they were right behind us. As a group of players, we really appreciate that.”
Fellow Red Devil Juan Mata echoed the striker’s sentiments and expressed his frustration with not being to able to give the fans the results they deserve.
“There are no words to describe your support in the stadium. In games like yesterday it makes me mad not being able to give you what you deserve.”
However the Spaniard believes that this will be a learning curve for all at Old Trafford and that the club will only come out stronger.
“The storm will pass and the sun will rise again. I have no doubt.”
He urged the fans to show their support for United in the ensuing Champions League fixture and is positive that United can turn things around with the help of the supporters.
“We know the history of this club and its achievements, based on a winning spirit. That is what we need to beat Olympiakos and get through in the Champions League.”
“As you know I cannot play in the Champions League any more this season but I’ll be backing the team in Old Trafford as any other fan.”
“If we score in the first few minutes I think we can make it with your help.”
While a two goal deficit would not have been impossible for the old United to turn around, it remains to be seen how David Moyes’ team shapes upon Wednesday. The Reds definitely have the firepower to turn the fixture around but given the lack of the fighting spirit in the players recently, nothing can be said for certain. But the fact remains that if Moyes can lead the squad to the quarter-finals despite the deficit, he will certainly be appreciated by the Old Trafford faithful who are getting increasingly used to being let down by their manager and players.