Wayne Rooney accepts blame for loss
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney knows he started life in his new-found role "badly" but the striker is determined to bring success back to the club.
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New manager Louis van Gaal endured a poor start to the Premier League season as United limped to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Saturday; the first time in more than 40 years the club has lost an opening top-flight fixture at Old Trafford.
Rooney, who was named new United captain by Van Gaal just days before the start of the season, admitted shouldering the blame for such losses is something that comes with the armband.
Despite scoring an overhead kick and hitting the post in the loss to Swansea, the striker pinpointed a need to improve.
"I just had a bad game and I was the first to say that when I got into the dressing room," Rooney said in the Daily Telegraph. "I didn't play well. You have those days but being captain is always a responsibility I have had in me, especially on the pitch.
"It will be a little bit different now off the pitch with new responsibilities. I have always felt I am a leader on the pitch so it won't be a major difference on the pitch to what I normally do and that is to help us win games.
"I have always been vocal either on the pitch or in the dressing room. There have been times both for England and United when I have been told to be quiet. It has always been a part of my game and I think it is important that players speak to each other. You have to communicate.
"That is the only way you are going to help each other. The time is right for me to be captain and I am ready for the responsibility. Only time will tell whether I can be a successful captain but I will certainly be giving everything I can to help this club win trophies."
United's struggles, particularly last season's seventh-place finish under David Moyes, have been well documented, while several of the club's former players have spoken out about United's current predicament.
Paul Scholes was the latest to pass judgement from the television studio and hinted that several of United's current crop would struggle to break into the successful sides of recent years. Rooney believes the jibe is par for the course and is keen to prove last season's failings were a "one-off."
"It is always a bigger story when Manchester United struggle and we saw that last season. We all understand that," Rooney said. "Players have to understand that you are going to get ex-players going over the top and having their say. We have to accept it and be ready for it.
"We know that if this club is successful it is great and if it is not then there are a lot of people who are waiting for you to fall so they can get at you.
"We have to make sure we are successful. We have to make sure last season was a one-off because that was not good enough. We are not out to prove people wrong. We are to win things for ourselves, the fans and this club."