By Ian Ladyman
Wayne Rooney has criticised Manchester United's sloppy defending in the weekend hammering at neighbours City and called on his team-mates to put things right against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup.
The centre forward was the only United player to come out of Sunday's game with any credit, scoring his team's late consolation in their 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium. Now Rooney has spoken passionately about one of the worst United defeats of recent times.
He said: 'It is not good enough. We know we have to improve on that and stop giving these sloppy goals away and try to capitalise on some of our good play, which I thought there was even if it was too late in the game.
Frustration: Rooney has criticised the sloppy defending by his United team-mates
'Fair enough, City deserved the victory. We gave sloppy goals away. As I said before, it is not good enough.
'It is nice to score but it means nothing. It is a bad day for us but we have another big game against Liverpool on Wednesday. We will forget about this now and try to move on in that one. It is the ideal game. Any game against Liverpool is a big game, whether it is a friendly or Capital One Cup or Premier League. It is still massive.'
Consolation: Rooney scored United's sole goal in the 4-1 derby defeat from a free kick
Captain Nemanja Vidic has also vowed that United will recover against Liverpool, even though he and fellow central defender Rio Ferdinand are expected to be rested for the game.
Vidic said: 'The most important thing that the new manager and the old manager said was that you have to bounce back and win the next game.
'It hurts. You don't want to lose derby games in this way and trust me no-one will want to remember this.'
Break: Vidic (below) is set to be rested for the Capital One Cup clash against rivals Liverpool
United's frustration boiled over at half-time at City as player-coach Ryan Giggs confronted fourth official Mike Oliver and told him: 'Man up and do your job.'
It is understood United were upset at some of City's tackling but they will now face Oliver again on Saturday as the official is set to referee their Barclays Premier League game at home to West Bromwich.
Across town, meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini's team are reflecting on the second drubbing of United in two years. This result followed on from their 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October 2011.
Familiar face: Michael Oliver (right) will referee Manchester United's home match against West Brom
Defender Pablo Zabaleta admitted last night that thoughts of another six-goal tally entered City's minds when the score stood at 3-0 at the weekend and suggested that Rooney's pre-match assertion that games against Liverpool are still bigger motivated them.
Zabaleta said: 'When we scored the third goal, everybody thought that it could be another chance to do it. Just for a moment I thought about the game we won 6-1. But after we scored the fourth goal we lost a bit of intensity.
'This result has helped the manager, his staff and all the new players. Winning like that gives you confidence. It has helped the team to play much better collectively than we have done. Playing in the way we did against United, we have a lot of chance to fight for the title.
Dwelling: Zabaleta (right) admitted that memories of City's 6-1 victory entered his mind
'I saw Rooney. He was one of their main players. He tried more than anyone else in the Manchester United team. Probably it proves this game is just as important to him and United as Liverpool.'
City's star man on Sunday was arguably Samir Nasri, the player castigated last season for ducking out of the way of a Robin van Persie free-kick that gave United a 3-2 win at the Etihad.
Nasri said: 'This was a big statement. We have sent a message to our rivals. It's a different feeling from last year and a different feeling for me as well. Last year I was involved in the third goal in a bad way, so this was a little revenge.'
Man of the moment: Nasri was City's top performer against United in the derby