Rooney: Top four was a must

United finished fourth in Louis van Gaal’s first campaign in charge, improving on their disastrous seventh-place finish under David Moyes a year ago.

“Top four was a must, really,” Rooney told United’s official website.

“We had to get ourselves back into the Champions League and we’ve managed to do that. Hopefully that will provide a springboard for us to go and fight for silverware next year.”

Rooney said he is enjoying working under former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Netherlands coach Van Gaal although he accepts that United started the season slowly as they adjusted to their new manager???s methods.

“It was exciting really, to have the chance to work under him,” he added. “The record he has got shows that he is a top manager and since he’s come in he’s been fantastic.

“He had faith in me and made me captain. Seeing the way he works and his different style of management, it’s clear why he’s been successful.

“The manager came in with new ideas, a new way to play, new training methods and we did find that difficult at first.

“The manager told us before we started that we were going to find it difficult and there were also a lot of new players who came in during the summer and it can be difficult for them to bed into a new league and a new team.”

Rooney played in a variety of positions throughout the campaign but insisted he was happy with his performances last season.

The 29-year-old also said he relished the demands of being appointed United skipper.

“I think my form’s been good,” he said. “I’ve played in a few different positions and scored a few goals but I could probably have scored more.

“Overall I’m happy with my first season as captain, glad that we’re back in the Champions League and I’m looking forward to trying to help the team be successful next season.”

“It was a huge honour to be given the captaincy, it was something I really wanted to do and hopefully I can be successful.

“There was no silverware for us this season. Next season the focus will be on winning some silverware and I hope I can lead the team to doing that.”?? ??