Koeman: Rooney goal gave us perfect start

Cape Town – Ronald Koeman was delighted to have recorded an opening day victory in the Premier League but knows his side can play better.

Wayne Rooney was the match winner on his return to his boyhood club with a well-timed header as the match ended 1-0.

While Koeman hailed the result, he admitted his side ‘didn’t play well’.

He told Sky Sports: “I’m happy with the points. Maybe every manager before the start of the season thinks that their team is ready and prepared but it was really a difficult game.

“Stoke made it really difficult and if you know that, and you keep the clean sheet and the points at home, it is a perfect result. It was a win and that’s what you like to have after the first match.”

He added: “I think it is a nice challenge for everybody, maybe it bought a few more nerves to the team as it was the first time for the points and playing at home.

“Maybe that was the reason we didn’t play well but I think the second half was much better. It was much better controlled and I think we had some good counter-attacks to score a second goal.”

On Rooney’s contribution, Koeman said: “We know he is one of the best players in his position and he showed today the player that we expected with a lot of cleverness on the pitch.

“He made good decisions on the ball and scored a great goal. It was a great cross from Dominic and a great header but we can ask for more than he showed today.”

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