Wayne Rooney ‘excited’ after only one training session with José Mourinho

England's Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has had one training session with José Mourinho but already believes Manchester United’s manager can make them serious challengers for major honours again.

Rooney was speaking at a sponsors’ event in Shanghai at the start of United’s two-game tour of China. I’ve only had one day [training with Mourinho] since we came out, but it was a very good day, the training session,” he said. “But I think you only have to look at the teams he’s had before and the success he’s had with them, and we’re hoping he can bring that to us.

“I’m excited. It’s a big season for us. The appointment of José Mourinho is a big appointment and we’re all excited. We’ve made some fantastic signings too. Hopefully we can have a good start to the season and be successful by the end of it.”

Mourinho has signed Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The latter two have added competition in the forward positions and Rooney knows he is under pressure for his position in the coming season. “I think you always feel pressure when you play for Manchester United. It’s one of the biggest – if not the biggest – clubs in the world and it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to play for them for so long. You always feel you have to prove yourself every season, because it’s a dream to play for them”.

Rooney had a poor Euro 2016 campaign, though Mourinho has made it clear he will not play the 30-year-old in a midfield role, which was the case under Louis van Gaal and the former England manager, Roy Hodgson.

United play Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday then face Manchester City in Beijing on Monday. “I haven’t been to Shanghai before, so I’m looking forward to it,” Rooney said. “It’s always great, the support we get is always fantastic. I’m sure it’ll be a good week.”

Michael Carrick, the club’s second longest-serving player behind Rooney, said: “This time of year, individually and as a team, it’s important to get yourselves ready. You want to get back in the habit of doing the right things and getting in the rhythm and routine again and feeling your way back into it.

“Everyone does that in different ways. Some are right on it at the start of pre-season and for others it takes a bit longer. It’s about being ready for the start of the season, that’s the most important thing.

“It’s good that we can go and see our fans all around the world. This year it’s China with two big games so we’re all looking forward to it. You want to win the games too and get positive feelings again and carry that right through pre-season.

“There’s a variety of things that you gain from going on these trips. The quality of the opposition is very high, so that will test us, and it’s a good chance to get to know the new signings and the manager.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jamie Jackson in Shanghai, for The Guardian on Wednesday 20th July 2016 09.32 Europe/London

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