Wayne Rooney: Man United players 'got off quite lightly' amid LVG blame
Wayne Rooney says Man United's players have "got off quite lightly" for this season's struggles while the focus has been on manager Louis van Gaal.
Last weekend's defeat at Sunderland left United six points adrift of the top four and reinvigorated calls for the Dutchman to be replaced at Old Trafford.
But Rooney said United's players must accept some of the responsibility for another disappointing season.
"It's a very good group of players," Rooney told English newspapers. "At times it's been frustrating for us as we've under-performed.
"And actually the manager has taken a lot of stick for some performances. It's down to us, we're players and we have to perform.
"At times this season we haven't done that. In terms of that, we've probably got off quite lightly and the manager has taken a lot of it.
"But we're going on the pitch. We have to create chances and win games and we haven't done that enough this season."
United return to European competition this week when they play in the Europa League for the first time since 2012.
Rooney is not taking the competition lightly, and says he wants to get back to winning trophies.
"The important thing now, I feel, is to win trophies again this season," he said. "It's been a few years since we won a trophy.
"This is more or less a new team so for ourselves, as a team, we need to win something. The fans want to see us win something again.
"Obviously the Champions League is massive for this club and it was disappointing to go out of it.
"We'll keep going in the league, keep trying. But our main aim has to be to make sure we can get in that top four.
"And then the Europa League, it would be great if we can win that. It's not where we wanted to be at the start of the season.
"But it's where we've found ourselves so why not go and try to win it."