Wayne Rooney has claimed that one day of training under Jose Mourinho has convinced him of Manchester United’s ability to challenge for honors this season.
United captain Rooney arrived in Shanghai with his Old Trafford team-mates on Wednesday morning after returning to pre-season training 24 hours earlier following an extended break in the wake of England’s involvement at Euro 2016.
While the campaign in France ended in humiliation, with England losing to Iceland in the second round – a defeat which cost manager Roy Hodgson his job – the 30-year-old insists he is optimistic about United’s prospects following Mourinho’s arrival as Louis van Gaal’s successor earlier this summer.
United are due to face to Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in China on a two-game tour before tackling Galatasaray in Gothenburg next week.
But despite spending just one morning on the training ground with Mourinho, Rooney believes that the former Chelsea manager has already proved his credentials for restoring United to the summit of English football.
“I’ve only had one day [training with Mourinho] since we came out, but it was a very good day, the training session,” Rooney said.
“I think you only have to look at the teams he’s had before, and the success he’s had with them, and we’re hoping he can bring that to us.
“I’m excited for it. It’s a big season for us. The appointment of Mourinho is a big appointment for us and we’re all excited by it. We’ve made some fantastic signings too.
“Hopefully we can have a good start to the season and be successful by the end of it.”
Rooney is not expected to play in China, with Mourinho keen to ensure that his England contingent only train to boost their fitness.
The Portuguese has already insisted, however, that he will deploy Rooney as a striker this season following his move into midfield under Van Gaal.
Rooney also performed in a midfield role at Euro 2016, but with Mourinho demanding more from the player as an attacking force, he admits he is under pressure to deliver.
“I think you always feel pressure when you play for Manchester United,” said Rooney. “It’s one of the biggest – if not the biggest – clubs in the world and it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to play for them for so long.
“You always feel you have to prove yourself every season, because it’s a dream to play for them.”