Man United’s exciting and comfortable 3-1 win over Derby was hugely refreshing for fans after so long without entertaining football and gave some much needed reprieve to Louis van Gaal with pressure on his job mounting every day.
Speaking after the game, Rooney said the players had enjoyed the extra freedom and insisted they intended to put in a similar sort of performance against Stoke.
“It was obviously a better performance than last week’s game but the manager gave us a lot of freedom to go and play and you could see the difference,” Rooney said.
“You could see we were enjoying it, scoring some good goals and we thoroughly deserved to win so hopefully we can put in another performance like this again on Tuesday.”
At one stage this season I asked whether van Gaal was even capable of change or if he was so stuck in his own ways that he would refuse to adapt. By the sounds of it, he’s finally decided to take a different approach.
If our performance against Derby was an indicator of what is to come under a refreshed looking United side, then maybe we’ll actually start enjoying football again.
Of course, Stoke will be a much tougher test than Championship side Derby but I’m now looking forward to Tuesday night to see whether this win on Friday was a false down or a genuine turning point.