Rooney: I’m grateful to Louis van Gaal

Date published: Sunday 22nd May 2016 9:13

Wayne Rooney came out in defence of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal as talk he is set to be replaced by Jose Mourinho intensified.

Within moments of winning the FA Cup, Van Gaal was forced to stand firm in the face of questions about former Chelsea manager Mourinho replacing him in the coming days.

Mourinho himself refused to comment when questioned at ringside ahead of David Haye’s bout in London, but captain Rooney fought his manager’s corner.

“My knowledge about that is nothing at all. That’s a question for Louis Van Gaal,” he said.

“I don’t want to speak about Louis van Gaal leaving. He’s still our manager and I think it’s a bit unfair after we’ve just won the FA Cup to speak about him as if he isn’t here.

“I think he’s a good manager I’m grateful he’s helped us win this FA Cup.”

United came from behind to triumph after extra-time at Wembley. Jason Puncheon put Palace ahead with just 12 minutes remaining, but Juan Mata quickly replied and Jesse Lingard snatched victory with a stunning volley in extra-time after United had Chris Smalling sent off.

Van Gaal was proud of the victory, which earned United a first trophy since the retirement of Ferguson three years ago.

He said: “I said when I started we are in a process of transition. I have already said a lot of times, so I repeat myself, I have to refresh my selection, my squad. I have done it.

“In spite of the many injuries this season we were still in the race and now we have lifted the cup. That is a title. It was three years ago that United (last) had a title.

“I am very proud I am the first manager after the period of Sir Alex Ferguson (to do that). I have made a picture with him because that is history.”

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