Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United’s FA Cup final victory can pave the way for further success in the future.
United sealed a record-equalling 12th FA Cup triumph on Saturday after coming from behind at Wembley to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 after extra-time, although the match has since been overshadowed by reports Jose Mourinho will replace Louis van Gaal in the coming week.
It was also the first time captain Rooney has won the competition, adding the trophy to his honours list which already included five Premier League titles and a Champions League winner’s medal.
For many of United’s youngsters, however, it was a maiden triumph and Rooney believes it will inspire his younger team-mates to achieve more success.
“It’s important for Manchester United and the supporters. We’ve won nothing for three years,” Rooney said.
“A lot of players are new to the club but they’ve had that taste of success now so hopefully that kicks them on to want more and we can go on a good run for the next few years.
“It’s great to win trophies. This was a bit more important because we have been under a bit of pressure since Sir Alex (Ferguson) left but we knew it was going to take time.”
United had to come from behind after Jason Puncheon put Palace ahead with 12 minutes left but Juan Mata equalised soon after before Jesse Lingard grabbed a stunning extra-time winner.
Chris Smalling was also sent off in extra-time, picking up a second yellow card for pulling back Yannick Bolasie, but United dug deep and ran out deserving winners.
“It was a tough game, Palace did well and made it difficult for us but we kept going,” said 30-year-old Rooney, who impressed in a midfield role and is now set for England duty at Euro 2016.
“We had to dig in and probably it looked like going to penalties but Jesse came up with a fantastic strike.
“It was probably a decent game to watch, we always felt in control but Palace have individual players who can create something out of nothing so we had to be careful. I think overall we deserved to win.”