Captain Wayne Rooney insists Manchester United will “keep fighting” following their latest goalless stalemate with fellow strugglers Chelsea left manager Louis van Gaal’s future in the balance.
The Dutch manager was under huge pressure ahead of the match at Old Trafford, with Manchester United winless in seven outings and suffered four defeats in their last 4 games in all competitions leaving the van Gaal on the brink of an early exit from the club.
However, the Red Devils managed to turn in a much improved performance against their arch rivals as they hit the woodwork two times and watched Thibaut Courtois deny Ander Herrera with an excellent save, but the boring draw left them slip nine points behind league toppers Arsenal after 19th round.
Rooney, who was lucky enough to avoid a red card for his harsh challenge on Oscar, missed a late chance to give United the lead, and the veteran striker looked frustrated as his side missed a number of opportunities to win the home fixture.
“We created a lot of chances but didn’t manage to take one,” he told BT Sport. “The crowd were excellent today and you could see how much it meant to the players. It’s a disappointing result because we dominated the game but that is football.
Asked if the whole team is still working for Louis van Gaal, Rooney replied: “Yes, of course. A lot of people say a lot of different things. We would be letting ourselves down if we didn’t go out on the pitch and give our all. We will keep fighting and we will come back.”
Rooney’s priority right now is to get his own career and Manchester United’s season back on track.
But the 30-year-old striker is said to be really worried about his prospects of leading the attacking line for England at Euro 2016, in what could be his last opportunity to make an impact at a leading tournament.
His concerns became bigger last week when England manager, Roy Hodgson said he could not guarantee his captain a place based on his recent performance.
Despite netting 11 times in his last 14 appearances for England; Wayne Rooney is under intense pressure from Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, who have excelled this season for Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, respectively.
David De Gea made a brilliant double save to deny Pedro and then Azpilicueta after the break and believes his team deserved more than a point last night.
“Both teams had chances but I think we played better than them. We didn’t have the luck we need to win these games,” he said when speaking to BT Sport.
“We have to keep focused on only football and try to win the games ahead.”
The result saw Manchester United sixth in the points table, five points behind fourth-placed Manchester City having played a match more than their city rivals.