Wayne Rooney believes success is just around the corner thanks to Jose Mourinho’s impact at Manchester United.
The end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s mammoth reign brought instability and struggles at a club synonymous with the opposite.
United only qualified once for the Champions League during David Moyes and Louis van Gaal’s underwhelming three years at the helm, but things are gradually improving under the tutelage of Mourinho.
An EFL Cup final awaits next month, as does the resumption of their Europa League campaign, and Sunday sees the FA Cup holders continue their tilt at glory when Wigan arrive for their fourth-round tie.
Things have not gone so well in the Premier League as United sit sixth, but a recent upturn in fortunes has closed the gap on those above them and Rooney believes exciting times lie ahead under Mourinho.
“I think that’s part of football,” the United captain said of the managerial changes of recent years.
“Obviously Manchester have had the stability of Sir Alex over the 26 years before, and I think over the last three or four years what they’ve been doing is trying to find the right one. And I believe they’ve found him.
“Just working every day and seeing how he wants to work, how he is setting the team up. There’s successes around the corner.”
Rooney may come into the starting line-up against Wigan, having been brought off the bench in the midweek EFL Cup semi-final second leg 2-1 loss at Hull.
It brought United’s 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions to a halt and ended a memorable few days for their captain, who last weekend collected the Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award after becoming United’s all-time top scorer with a superb free-kick at Stoke.
It is an achievement Rooney could not have fathomed when arriving at the club from Everton in 2004, nor the medal-laden CV that has built during his time at the club.
Rooney hopes such individual and collective successes act as an inspiration to young players like Marcus Rashford, who he believes could one day challenge his record goal haul.
“I joined this club, I said at the time, to play Champions League football and obviously Sir Alex was the reason I joined the club,” he told the BBC’s Football Focus.
“I wanted to obviously win trophies and I’ve done that since I’ve been here.
“When I first joined the club, I think Gary Neville and Scholesy (Paul Scholes) were on like four Premier League titles and I remember sitting there thinking ‘they’ve won four Premier Leagues, that’s crazy’.
“Then, obviously, now I’ve won five. I’m sure the likes of Rashford coming into the dressing room, they’re probably looking at the likes of me and Michael Carrick thinking ‘they’ve won five Premier League titles’. That’s the aim, that’s what you want to get to.
“He’ll have his time and I’m sure if he keeps doing the right things, going the way he is, then he’ll be a great player for this club and hopefully in 10 or whatever years more time he’ll be close to the record.”