Soccer

Wayne Rooney issues challenge to Manchester United players

AFP-JIJI

Wayne Rooney has called on Manchester United’s players to stand up and be counted, saying that manager Jose Mourinho is an easy target for the club’s troubles.

United battled back from two goals down to beat Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday, but is languishing in eighth place in the Premier League, seven points off top spot.

But former United captain Rooney, who now plays for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, said the players had to take some responsibility for the situation.

“It’s tough (at United), it has been a tough situation,” he said in comments reported by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“The players, the manager, it has been a tough start to the season. I know Jose is getting a load of stick but I said a few weeks ago, the players have to stand up. They have to be counted and they have to be better.”