Rooney: Let’s kick on now
Wayne Rooney believes the Reds’ come-from-behind victory in Portugal on Wednesday night can be the catalyst for a winning run in November.
The United striker netted a penalty in the 3-1 win against SC Braga to help secure safe passage to the Champions League knockout phase with two games to spare.
Now Rooney wants the Reds to build on the result and hit top form as Sir Alex’s men prepare for trips to Aston Villa, Norwich City and Galatasaray before ending the month hosting Queens Park Rangers and West Ham at Old Trafford.
“There have been games this season where we’ve been fantastic and there have been games where we’ve had to grind out results,” he told Sky Sports.
“Tonight we had a difficult night and we weren’t at our best but we won the game and that’s all we can ask. We’ve topped the group and that’s the main thing. We’re happy with that.
“We’re in a good position and we know we can play better football. Now we have a run of games where we feel we can get maximum points, so hopefully we can do that.”
United are the only side in this season’s Champions League competition to have collected four wins from the first four games and the Reds are assured of a first-place finish in Group H, regardless of what happens in the final two fixtures.
It’s a far cry from the position Sir Alex’s men found themselves in last season, when United tumbled out of the competition with defeat in Basel on matchday six.
Rooney believes the side learnt valuable lessons from that experience, though, and says have what it takes to go on and win the competition.
“We were disappointed to go out at the group stage last year so our target this year was to qualify and then take it from there. Thankfully we’ve done that after four games and topped the group. We’re really pleased with that.
“Last season we had a lot of new young players come into the team and [Champions League football] is a different experience for them. They’ve gained experience from last season and the manager’s given them further chances this season and that’s paid off for us.
“Anyone can go on a run and win the tournament. We have to make sure we’re at our best and you need to be a bit lucky in the draw for the early rounds of the knockout stages but we’re ready and with the final at Wembley it’s a great incentive for us.”