STRIKER Wayne Rooney has conceded Manchester United have not yet hit the heights expected of them this season and has called on his team-mates to make an immediate improvement.
United’s dismal 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday was the third time this term they had failed to beat a Premier League title rival, having suffered a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool and been held to a 0-0 stalemate by Chelsea last month.
David Moyes’ men find themselves in an unfamiliar eighth place in the Premier League table and Rooney has called for a marked improvement.
“It is not good enough,” said the 27-year-old, who scored a late consolation in the defeat to City.
“We know we have to improve and stop giving these sloppy goals away.
“It is not nice to lose to City. It was a bad result and we are all extremely disappointed. It is nice to score but it means nothing. The most important thing was the points and we came away with none.”
United now turn their attention towards a Capital One Cup third round tie with Liverpool tomorrow at Old Trafford.
The visitors could have striker Luis Suarez back in the starting line-up, following the completion of his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
United have won each of their last five home matches against the Reds in all competitions and Rooney, whose strike partner Robin van Persie is doubtful due to groin trouble, sees it as the perfect fixture to get their season back on track.
“We have all grown up, whether it is Manchester, Liverpool or somewhere else having local derbies,” he said.
“It is not nice when you lose one. I have been there as a fan and now as a player.
“Thankfully we have another massive game against Liverpool.
“It is the ideal game for us. Any game against Liverpool, whether it is a friendly, Capital One Cup or Premier League match, is massive.
“We have to try and get the victory so we can put this defeat [to Manchester City] to the back of our minds.”