Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hailed his side’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland as a “big step” and says Wayne Rooney’s brace will lift his confidence.
United had to wait for over an hour before breaking the deadlock when former Old Trafford favourites John O’Shea and Wes Brown combined to foul Radamel Falcao in the box.
Rooney made no mistake from 12-yards and he secured the three points near the end when Adnan Januzaj’ shot was parried back into his path by Costel Pantilimon.
Rooney has been restored to his favoured striking role recently and with Robin van Persie out injured he continued up front against Sunderland.
Van Gaal feels the goal will boost the 29-year-old England captain’s confidence.
“Every player needs confidence and when you score two goals it lifts your confidence,” he said.
Rooney is likely to continue in his more advanced role when United travel to Newcastle on Wednesday. The Red Devils are 1.96 to make it back-to-back victory over rivals from the North East at St James’ Park.
After the game against Sunderland, Rooney once more reiterated his willingness to play any role his manager sees fit to deploy him in.
“At times you have to see what is best for the team,” the United captain said.
“That is what the manager and I have felt and that’s why I have been back in midfield. I love playing football and wherever the manager wants me to play I will play.”