Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney takes heart from Manchester United's performance despite derby defeatGetty

Wayne Rooney admits Manchester United are still adapting to new methods under Louis van Gaal but insists progress is being made on the pitch.

The United skipper returned to the starting line-up on Sunday 2 November but was unable to prevent Manchester City sealing a 1-0 win in the first derby of the season after Chris Smalling was shown a red card in the first half.

But United will have taken heart from their response after going behind at the Eithad Stadium, responding well to the set back and coming close on a number of occasions to snatching an unlikely draw.

While the club have taken less points than they had at this stage of the season last term, Rooney is adamant United are moving in the right direction as Van Gaal continues to tinker with the team.

"We are working on different things, which is a lot of us haven't been used to," Rooney told MUTV.

"We're certainly heading in the right direction. We are progressing each week and playing some nice football.

"We need to turn that into results and I am sure we can do that if we keep working, keep earning and keep doing what the manager wants from us."

United have taken just 13 points from 10 Premier League games this season after their defeat to their neighbours. Smalling, who was booked twice inside the first half, took the brunt of the blame for the defeat but Rooney maintains his side were unlucky to leave empty handed.

"I felt for long periods of the game we were the better team. We took control of the game with 10 men and created the better chances. We were unfortunate not to get anything out of the match and we are disappointed to leave with no points after a great effort," Rooney said.

"Chris is disappointed. It is tough when you get sent off, especially in a derby and with such a long time to go in the game it made it difficult for the rest of us to hold on. I'm sure Chris will learn from that."