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Van Gaal's negative tactics to blame for Rooney slump - Scholes

Paul Scholes has leapt to the defence of Wayne Rooney and claims even Manchester United greats Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham would struggle to score in the current side due to Louis van Gaal's negative approach.

Rooney has netted just twice in nine Premier League appearances this term and missed a penalty in United's 3-1 shootout defeat to Middlesbrough in the League Cup on Wednesday after the fourth-round tie finished 0-0 at Old Trafford.

United legend Scholes - who won the Premier League 11 times with United - believes that England's record goalscorer is struggling to flourish under Van Gaal.

"It's a team you wouldn't want to play against and it's probably a team you wouldn't want to play in either," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"There's a lack of risk and creativity. It seems he [Van Gaal] doesn't want players to beat men, there's a lack of risk and creativity. It seems he doesn't want players to beat men  and score goals - it's not a team I would have enjoyed playing in.

"Ruud van Nistelrooy, Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole, they couldn't play in this team.

"You don't get crosses in the box, midfielders looking for runs. I think it's a very difficult team to be a centre forward in.

"I actually think the team is brilliantly coached to defend. I think the hardest thing to do is to coach scoring goals, creativity and to have players who are off the cuff."