Wayne Rooney insists he always knew Jose Mourinho would bring success to Manchester United – and believes the club could mount a serious title challenge next season.
Adding to Community Shield and EFL Cup glory would be a good end to a difficult first campaign for Mourinho – a manager Rooney has once again backed to flourish in the Old Trafford hotseat.
“I said in October, November, that this club will be successful under Jose Mourinho having seen the way he works,” he said.
“If we can win the Europa League, that will be three trophies in his first season. We’re not far off challenging for the Premier League and I hope next season in the Champions League. But I feel the club will be successful under Jose.”
Whether Rooney is in the starting line-up on Thursday – or the squad next season – remains to be seen, although his desire to end the season with another trophy is clear.
Rooney accepts United’s top-four tilt is all but over, with Europa League glory offering the most likely route back to where “this club belongs”, the Champions League.
“I think with Champions League semi-finals, you know you’re in touching distance of final,” Rooney, a European champion at United, said ahead of a clash with Celta they approach with a 1-0 first-leg advantage.
“This is a European semi-final, it’s the biggest chance to win a European competition in the last two or three years. The tie’s not over.
“It’s a dangerous position we’re in but we’ve got a good chance of going to the final if we play to our best.”