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FootballManchester United: Ten Hag demands more of struggling Rashford

Manchester United: Ten Hag demands more of struggling Rashford

Erik ten Hag says struggling Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford “needs support” but also admitted he “can do better than he has been doing this year”.

Rashford has endured a difficult season on and off the pitch.

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He has failed to replicate his sparkling form of last season when he scored 30 goals, managing just eight for United across all competitions, while a well-publicised trip to Northern Ireland in January which saw him photographed in a Belfast nightclub in the early hours, led to a hefty fine.

That has led to a raft of criticism with the 26-year-old tweeting overnight to say “enough is enough”.

Ten Hag is happy to back Rashford but would also like to see more from him in terms of his performance levels.

“I have a lot of sympathy for Marcus,” he said. “Last year, he had a brilliant season and scored 30 goals – so you can see what he’s capable of.

“This season he hasn’t had the performances and people are very critical. We have to back him and everyone should back him so he can get back to the levels we saw last year.

“He needs the support and we have to push him because he can do better than he has been doing this year.”

United saw off Sheffield United 4-2 on Wednesday night to move up to sixth in the table, but it was another chaotic display which twice saw the Premier League’s bottom club lead at Old Trafford.

“Out of possession, we have to be better organised, better disciplined and we have to play with a high intensity,” added Ten Hag.

“And we have to keep doing the stuff in possession, because I think we make huge progress this season in attacking transitions – we have scored so many goals.

“If you see the difference between first season and second season now, it’s immense, so we develop our attacking style of playing.”

Ten Hag repeated his claim that having an unsettled defence due to injuries has hampered their progress this season.

He said: “Most important this season is the back four. We didn’t have a sustainable back four.

“There have been so many different partnerships, swapping the full-backs. It’s also that our attacking players have to contribute more; [be] more disciplined, more pressure on the ball and matching better the runs.”

In positive injury news for United, midfielder Mason Mount is poised to return against Burnley tomorrow while Ten Hag expects Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Lisandro Martinez to play before the season ends.

“I think we are going to see those three this season,” he said. “All three returned to the pitch. Next week they have to step into team training but next week, they can step in for the last weeks. They progress well.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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