Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has backed club captain and star striker Wayne Rooney to end his recent goal drought against Liverpool, and is hopeful that the England international will lead his side to victory at Anfield on Sunday.
Rooney has only ever scored one goal at Liverpool’s Merseyside home, and that came more than ten years ago on his first appearance at the ground for United. However, the Dutchman insists that could all change this weekend, as United look to retain their place in the top four.
Van Gaal, who was quoted by the Daily Star, said: “It’s strange because I’m not superstitious, so we have to change that feeling also with Wayne. I have grounds where I never won as a manager or a player with a certain club. But then with another club I always won, for example.
“It’s strange but it can be like this – and I hope I can change it with Wayne. It can be (a mental thing), I cannot deny that, but I don’t think that Wayne has a block of that, no.
“He’s a very experienced player, he has played on all the grounds in the world so I don’t think that he shall be influenced by the fans at by the stadium or something like that.
“But Liverpool, for Manchester United, is not a very easy ground. But now I’m the manager here maybe we can change that.”
Rooney is just 21 goals short of breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time club scoring record of 249 United goals, and has been in good form in recent games, powering the Red Devils to a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
The Red Devils are currently two points clear of Liverpool, and could open up a five point cushion if they’re able to complete a double over their old rivals – putting the club in the perfect position to ensure a return to Champions League football.