Wayne Rooney has admitted Manchester United took some time getting over a difficult start under Louis van Gaal.
The Dutch boss’ Premier League reign was off to an unexpected start when they suffered an opening day defeat at home to Swansea City before they were bundled out of the League Cup by lower-league Milton Keynes Dons via a 4-0 thrashing in the second round.
United managed to gather momentum as the 2014-15 season progressed and even went on a nine-game winning run for the first time in the English top flight since 2013 between February and April.
“The manager came in with new ideas, a new way to play, a new training methods and we did find that difficult at first,” Rooney is quoted as saying on the club’s website.
“The manager told us before we started that we were going to find it difficult and it just took a little time to transfer our work on the training pitch to the games.
“There were also a lot of new players who came in during the summer and it can be difficult for them to bed into a new league and a new team. It was always going to take a while for them to settle in.”
One other salient factor from the 63-year-old’s first managerial experience in the Premier League was his inability to retain a starting lineup for subsequent games owing to waves of injury concerns to over 15 members of his first team squad.
Rooney added: “The injuries didn’t help, but I still think we should have done better.”
United eventually finished the season in fourth position and secured qualification for Uefa Champions League next season, when they will start from the playoff round.