Wayne Rooney is optimistic he can start hitting the net for Manchester United again despite his disappointing start to the season. The England striker has failed to score in any of United’s first three games of the season against Tottenham, Aston Villa and Club Brugge.

Manager Louis van Gaal has decided against signing a striker in this transfer window thus far because he believes Rooney can score at least 20 goals for his side in 2015/16.

He only has Javier Hernandez and James Wilson as his other senior strikers and looks to be short in that department. But United captain Rooney is confident of turning things around and said: “I’m an honest guy. I know when I don’t play well and against Aston Villa I was below my standards.

“It’s not a game which I want to look back on but obviously that happens in football. You’ll have nights like that and you have to move on.

“It’s early on in the season. We are just three games in. I’ve experienced this (criticism) before and the goals will come, I know that.

“I understand I have to be the one who’s going to lead that line for us and try and find the goals for us.”

Rooney’s goals return in pre-season was not much better as he scored once in four outings from a deeper midfield position. The 29-year-old – who is set to start against Newcastle this weekend – is adamant he can still perform adequately as a lone striker.

Speaking in the aftermath of the 3-1 victory over Brugge in which Memphis Depay scored twice, he added: “My mind is clear. I know how to play the role.

“It’s just a case of getting the chances and taking them, which I’m hopefully going to do soon.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing against Newcastle, so hopefully on Saturday I can open my scoring. It’s important that we all chip in.

“Memphis managed to get off the mark this season. I’ve had one bad game this season and everyone’s all over it.

“I know, I’ve had that throughout my career but hopefully at the weekend I can get off the mark.”

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