Wayne Rooney admitted Manchester United have fallen short of expectations despite winning the FA Cup as rumours swirled that Louis van Gaal is set to be replaced by Jose Mourinho.
United manager Van Gaal was in defiant mood on Saturday as he celebrated United’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace by parading the FA Cup in front of the media while refusing to discuss the growing possibility he will be sacked in the next few days.
Just minutes after the final whistle at Wembley signalled United’s first trophy in Van Gaal’s two-year reign, reports emerged that former Chelsea boss Mourinho was on the verge of agreeing a deal to take charge at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal has endured months of speculation about his future during a troubled campaign which saw United fail to qualify for the Champions League amid fan unrest and talk of a dressing room mutiny against the former Barcelona boss.
It appears the gritty victory over Palace, a success achieved with 10 men after Chris Smalling’s red card, won’t be enough to save Van Gaal and United captain Rooney conceded the manager and his players had underachieved this term.
Asked about the pressure on Van Gaal over the last few months, Rooney said: “That’s part of playing for Manchester United and managing Manchester United. It’s a massive club.
“You have to set yourself standards and we fell below them this season.
“Obviously we wanted to finish in the Champions League. I’ve said before that I’m disappointed where we finished this season.
“We have to make sure as a group of players we get back to those standards and we start challenging for the main trophies.”
Rooney refused to directly answer questions about Van Gaal’s future, but the England star did offer an sympathetic view of his manager’s perilous situation.
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