D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney in action during an MLS match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Audi Field in July. Photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

LONDON – Wayne Rooney has urged Manchester United's under-achieving stars to show more respect for their troubled club.

United are languishing in eighth place in the Premier League and have made a slow start to their Champions League campaign.

Sunday's 2-1 win over Everton did little to lift the gloom around Old Trafford, with United manager Jose Mourinho under scrutiny following a spluttering run which has seen key players fail to produce consistent performances.

Mourinho has clashed with United stars including Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial.

And Rooney, who became United's record goalscorer before leaving in 2017, believes it is down to the team's highly-paid stars to play with more pride and passion regardless of their issues with Mourinho.

Man United coach Jose Mourinho has clashed with United stars including Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial. Photo: Jon Super/EPA
Man United coach Jose Mourinho has clashed with United stars including Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial. Photo: Jon Super/EPA

In an interview with Football Focus, published on the BBC Sport website, DC United striker Rooney said: “Obviously they are going through a difficult period at the minute, but Jose Mourinho is very experienced and I think some players have to do a little bit better.

“In my experience, I have never seen or heard of a player not wanting to play in the game because they have had a falling out with the manager.

“I don't think as a player you could do that, you've got to respect the club and the fans and also respect your team-mates.

“I don't think any player, certainly at Manchester United, will be not playing for Jose, I'm sure they're all working hard behind the scenes to get results.”

Agence France-Presse (AFP)