We owed David Moyes that proper performance, says Wayne Rooney

Striker hails Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos

Wayne Rooney said that Manchester United's players "owed" their embattled manager David Moyes, ahead of their 3-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday that put the club into the Champions League quarter-finals draw.

In another declaration of his faith in the new United manager, Rooney moved to deny any suggestion of discontent at the club by saying that the team had played for Moyes against the Greek side, whom they eliminated 3-2 on aggregate. The draw in Nyon could yet pit United against Chelsea, the only other English survivors in the last eight.

Rooney said: "I've said before our performances this season haven't been good enough and we owe the manager a big performance, but we know as players we are better than what we've done this season. As a group we have to show that and put it right.

"I think it was always going to be tough when Sir Alex [Ferguson] left. It was obviously a massive change so we knew it was going to be tough but we didn't expect it to be as tough as it has been. But we have to put that right. We have to keep working, keep believing in ourselves and hopefully it'll get better."

He added: "I think Sunday [against Liverpool], as all the players will admit, was a devastating result for us. To lose 3-0 the way we did was hard to take and we had to stand up and show ourselves and really be at our best [against Olympiakos] because that [Sunday] was not good enough. We have done that but we have to kick on now and we have to give performances like that every week."

Rooney said that the players had also discussed among themselves their performance against Liverpool. "I'm not going to confirm the details of what happened but obviously we talk," he said. "We talk after every game, whether we win, lose or draw, but we knew as a team what went wrong on Sunday, we didn't need anyone to tell us, and we came out and delivered a big performance."

United and Chelsea join Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in an extremely strong quarter-finals draw that takes place at 11am on Friday. Rooney said that despite the huge disappointments of their league season the United players believe they can be contenders for the trophy in the same way as Liverpool in 2005 and Chelsea seven years later.

"Yeah, I think we can, I think in cup football anything can happen," he said. "With a bit of luck hopefully we can go far. We're in the quarter-final so you never know what can happen from there. It's a massive win tonight and we're looking forward to the draw.

"I think it is [a strong draw]. You look at the three Spanish teams left in the competition, they're all good teams. Chelsea are probably playing the best football this season and obviously you've got Bayern Munich. PSG are playing well. It's a talented group of teams so whoever we get I'm sure it will be a tough game.

"We have to [maintain urgency]. That's been part of our DNA over the years I've been here – that intensity, that running off the ball, the pace we play at. It's a big part of the way we play and [the Olympiakos game] showed that when we do that to teams it's difficult for them to stop us.

"I think we're spurred on by the way the games and results have gone, it's not necessarily the comments which people have made, it's more the fact that we're not getting the results and as a team it's hard to take so we've kept working and hopefully it'll get better."

News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat