Wayne Rooney insists he and his Manchester United team-mates don't need to prove critics wrong. All the motivation that’s required, he says, comes from within.
On Saturday, even before the Reds lost 2-1 against Swansea City, former Liverpool forward Steve McManaman, working as a pundit for BT Sport, described Louis van Gaal’s side as the worst Manchester United team he'd seen in 20 years.
But Rooney, the Reds’ new club captain, says McManaman's opinion, and those like it from former players and the media, have no bearing on the payers’ commitment to right the wrongs of last season. That desire already burns strongly.
“We are not out to prove people wrong,” he said. “We are out to win things for ourselves, the fans and this club.
“We know last season was a disaster. It wasn't good enough. And it’s always a bigger story when Manchester United struggle – you are going to get ex-players having their say. We have to accept it and be ready for it.
“We know that if this club is successful it is great and if it is not then there are a lot of people who are waiting for you to fall so they can get at you. We have to make sure we are successful. We have to make sure last season was a one-off because that was not good enough.”