Louis van Gaal believes Wayne Rooney’s leadership qualities are a key factor in Manchester United’s upturn in form.
The United and England captain grabbed the winner for Van Gaal’s men in a 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield last week, but only after he had blasted his team-mates in the dressing room at half time.
The Red Devils face a home clash with Southampton on Saturday as they attempt to climb back into the top four of the Premier League, and Van Gaal has been quick to hail the influence of his skipper.
“Not only Wayne Rooney is doing that [taking responsibility], there are several players doing that and that is what I want,” he told reporters.
“The players are self-responsible, not only the manager. That is also why I have made this approach to the players and so on because responsibility for the result and commitment is very important that your team is showing that.
“The fact that Rooney is scoring and we have won our games, or at least we drew versus Newcastle away – there is a parallel.
“I have said that always, he is not always only important as a player but also as a captain. I’m very happy with him.”
Though Van Gaal is famed for being one of football’s true disciplinarians, he says he is a strong believer in his players governing themselves when the situation demands it.
“It’s always good; it always helps the manager and also the players,” he added. “I’m asking already for more.
“I believe in the corrections of fellow players – I think that is more important than the correction of a manager.”