Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal leaps to the defence of under-fire striker Wayne Rooney

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has backed under-fire captain Wayne Rooney to rediscover his best form ahead of the club’s UEFA Champions League first-leg play-off tie against Club Brugge.

The 29-year-old came in for criticism on social media following his poor performance against Aston Villa last Friday night as he failed to have any impact on the game during the 1-0 victory at Villa Park.

After a stint playing in central midfield last season, Rooney has been deployed in his favoured centre-forward role for the opening two games of the new campaign, however, he is yet to open his account and has looked well below his best so far.

Speaking ahead of United’s crucial European clash against the Belgian outfit on Tuesday night at Old Trafford, van Gaal insists he has no worries about the England international skipper’s form at this early stage in the season:

“I have always confidence in my players,” the Dutchman said in his pre-match press conference [via Mail Sport].

“I think all the media has written that for one year and advised me that I have to put Rooney in the striker’s position.”

“So it is amazing after two matches you are doubting your own opinion. I can’t understand that,” van Gaal added.

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