The reigning English champions find themselves sixth on the table after 27 matches this season, 15 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and 11 in arrears of a Champions League spot.
The drop in form has coincided with the arrival of David Moyes as manager but Rooney suggests it is the players, and not the boss who should be held to accountability.
"As a group of players we have to take responsibility for our league position," Rooney said ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League Round of 16 first leg with Olympiakos in Greece.
"We know we're better than that and we haven't performed as well as we can do.
"We know that and it hurts. Now it's important we finish the season strongly and take some momentum into next year, but more importantly get into fourth spot and do well in the Champions League."
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