Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes the club’s FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday was a pivotal moment for the youngsters in the team.
The Red Devils defeated Palace 2-1 in extra time at Wembley to end their below-par campaign on a high note, and Rooney hopes a first taste of silverware will serve as a motivation to some of the younger players in the squad.
“It is an important moment for the football club,” Rooney said. “Since Sir Alex hasn’t been here we haven’t won a trophy and we have a fairly new squad who haven’t won much together. It could be a really important moment for us.
“Hopefully the young lads who have their hands on their first trophy – Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial – can feel what I felt when I won mine, which was a lot of determination and desire to win more. Hopefully they get that, it can be a major factor for us.”
The England international also called for improvement going forward, after a fifth-place finish in the Premier League means that they will miss out on the Champions League next season.
“There has to be an improvement next season. Certainly in the Premier League it wasn’t good enough, we dropped too many points,” Rooney added. “We wanted to finish at least in the Champions League places and we haven’t.
“You have to set yourself standards and we fell below them this season. You have to make sure as players we get back to those standards and we start challenging for the main trophies.
“I said after the Bournemouth game we finished where we deserved to finish so we have to improve on that, we know that. And hopefully we will.”