McNair exceeded expectations with an accomplished performance in testing circumstances, thanks in no small part to Rooney’s red card, and shone in what was a very physical game against a big West Ham side.
“That was probably one of the bigger tests a young defender can face, up against a team putting in lots of crosses into the box, but he took it and stood up to it, especially in the second half,” Rooney said.
“It won’t get much tougher in terms of physical strength and aggression against him, but he dealt with it and we are all delighted with him.”
McNair’s headed clearance late in the game was one of the moments of the match as it almost certainly stopped West Ham from getting an equaliser: “I saw the clearance he made at the end. I thought he was tremendous for us,” Rooney added.
With Phil Jones potentially returning from injury in time for Everton’s trip to Old Trafford this weekend, McNair may not start his second game on the trot but in terms of his career prospects, his debut puts him in fantastic stead with Van Gaal to make future appearances.