Wayne Rooney believes the decision to sack Jose Mourinho has already improved the mood at Manchester United.
The former United striker said that the “relationship between some of the staff and some of the players obviously wasn’t great” under Mourinho, whose two-and-a-half year reign was brought to an abrupt end last Tuesday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former team-mate of Rooney’s at Old Trafford, has been installed as caretaker manager until the end of the season, with Mike Phelan, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant manager at United, alongside him.
“Something had to change, It was the right decision,” Rooney said on BT Sport of the decision to dismiss Mourinho.
He added: “I stay in touch with a lot of people at the club, speak to them quite a lot – certainly this week – and I think, to be a successful football club, you need everything to be right.
“You need the staff at the training ground to be right, the groundsman whoever that is, they need to feel happy and that rubs off, that rubs off on the players and I think that relationship between some of the staff and some of the players obviously wasn’t great.
“But I think also bringing Ole in, bringing Mick Phelan in, that already has changed. I think the staff down at the training ground are smiling, they’re happy and that rubs off on the players.
“I think it’s a good move for the club, while it gives them a bit more time to make sure they get the right manager in place in the summer.”
Despite his cheerful demeanour, Solskjaer has warned he will not hesitate to replicate Ferguson’s hairdryer treatment if necessary.
And Rooney believes the Norwegian will have not problem showing his steely side.
“It’s all right saying we want smiles back on the faces – the only thing really that brings smiles is winning football games and being successful,” the former England captain said.
“Ole knows that, he’s worked under Sir Alex for a long time. I’m sure he will try and take a lot of his traits into that dressing room.
“It’s a big opportunity for Ole as well to come and show how good a manager he is and try and get the best out of these players and some of the players need to step up now.”