Erik ten Hag reveals what he told Marcus Rashford ‘on day one’ after joining Manchester United
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Man United striker Marcus Rashford has made a good start to the season under Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag has revealed what he told striker Marcus Rashford ‘on day one’ after starting his role as Manchester United manager in the summer.
Rashford endured a difficult campaign last term, registering just five goals in 32 appearances. Despite reports suggesting that the 24-year-old was looking for a move away from Old Trafford, the forward insisted that he was excited to work with incoming boss Ten Hag.
This season, the Englishman has enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign, scoring three goals and notching two assists in six Premier League appearances. He was utilised as a central striker prior to the recent international break and has been keeping Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting line-up.
Despite Rashford’s difficult season last campaign, Ten Hag has admitted that he is not surprised by the forward’s strong start this term, admitting that he immediately identified him as a player with ‘potential’ when he arrived in Manchester.
“From day one I was so excited to work with him,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby. “I saw his status and I knew already the impact he could have and his potential. Now he’s bringing that potential to the pitch so I’m really happy with his development.
“I told him on day one, I want to see you smiling every day. We said that we would prepare the training sessions and then it’s up to you to love the training and give your best because when you feel pressure in training and enjoy it you will give your best.
“If you give your best you will improve and you will perform on the pitch. Then life is easy and your performance will go up.”
Rashford was expected to be included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the recent Nations League matches against Italy and Germany, however, a minor injury kept him out of contention. He also missed United’s last two matches against Real Sociedad and Sheriff respectively.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Ten Hag confirmed Rashford had returned to training and could feature against Pep Guardiola’s City side on Sunday.
Asked for an update on his squad ahead of the trip to the Etihad, Ten Hag replied: “The situation is the following. Harry Maguire is injured and I think, for the rest, we have some doubts, with Anthony Martial, but he was training all week with the group.
“So I am really happy with that situation, he’s performing really well in training and makes a good impression. Marcus Rashford has returned to training, so I’m also happy with that.
“For the rest, maybe I think it’s only the longer-term injuries like Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams. They are not available.”