Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney for the next six weeks, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Denmark, after the England captain has been ruled out with a knee ligament injury.
After a dismal start to the season, Rooney’s form improved considering since the turn of the year, as he scored seven goals in as many appearances in the first seven matches of 2016, including the winners against Sheffield United and Liverpool.
Jesse Lingard has admitted he has spent the last couple of weeks putting in extra training sessions to improve his finishing, after being instructed by Louis Van Gaal to be more composed in front of goal.
The 23-year-old scored a brilliant, if ultimately not winning, goal against Chelsea on Sunday and has looked a lot sharper in the final third since his miss against Newcastle a few weeks ago arguably costed United the game.
Manchester United have not given up the fight to clinch a top four finish this season, despite being six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City, said Michael Carrick.
United dropped two points away at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when they conceded a late equaliser, meaning they’re now six points behind Manuel Pellegrini’s men, which still have to welcome United at the Etihad, and with a largely inferior goal difference.
Louis Van Gaal’s philosophy has found a surprising fan as Chris Smalling revealed he has been impressed with the Dutchman’s approach and his capacity to listen to his players.
After a torrid couple of months, United appear to be slightly turning their fortunes around, as back-to-back wins against Derby County and Stoke City were followed by an impressive display away against Chelsea, where United were only minutes short of winning the game.
Juan Mata was instrumental in Manchester United’s 3-0 win against Stoke on Tuesday night, as the Spaniard pulled the strings superbly, as his side played with an attacking intent they had not shown at any other stage of the season.
Deployed in his favourite number 10 role, the former Chelsea man, who scored against Derby a few days earlier, was mightily impressive alongside Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. Louis Van Gaal has suggested Mata will continue to be selected in his favourite position as long as he continues to control games the way he did against the Potters, adding Mata had only himself to blame for being deployed in a different role.
Anthony Martial has revealed he has learnt a lot from Wayne Rooney since joining Manchester United, adding he’s happy to sacrifice himself for the team.
The Frenchman has been one of United’s few bright lights this season, displaying a talent and maturity uncommon for a 19-year-old but, after hitting the ground running since joining from Monaco, his attacking potential has been limited by Louis Van Gaal’s decision to deploy out on the left.
Juan Mata has set his sights to a winning run this month as Manchester United look to put a rather dismal January behind them.
Despite picking up wins against Swansea and Liverpool in the Premier League and beating Sheffield United and Derby County in the FA Cup, United have come under intense scrutiny last month, with Louis Van Gaal’s future at the club increasingly under a cloud.
Jesse Lingard has urged Manchester United to maintain the same approach they adopted in their 3-1 win against Derby County in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.
United, so often this season criticised for an overly cautious approach, took the game to the Championship outfit, looking to attack from kick off and producing some nice, slick attacking football throughout the game.