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Henderson backs ´special´ Rashford to push for Euro berth

Jordan Henderson feels Marcus Rashford’s debut goal for England can be “the start of something special” as the Manchester United teenager pushes for a berth in the Euro 2016 squad.

Rashford, 18, netted three minutes into his first start for the senior national team, making him the youngest debutant scorer in England history.

Wayne Rooney added a second as Australia were beaten 2-1 at the Stadium of Light, but it was the captain’s Old Trafford colleague making all the headlines.

“He’s been brilliant for United all season and coming in here, [he had] no fear,” Henderson said.

“Within, I don’t know how long it was, but it was early, he gets his first goal for England. Over the moon for him. We all feel that can be the start of something special for him.”

England manager Roy Hodgson now faces a difficult task choosing between Daniel Sturridge, who is battling a minor calf problem, and Rashford as he seeks to reduce his preliminary training squad of 26 to the final travelling party for the tournament in France next month.

“Everyone’s been given the opportunity to go and try and impress and get in the 23,” Henderson said of Rashford’s chances.

“[There’s] still a game to go, so if he gets some more game time he needs to do the same and then it’s up to the manager who he takes.”

Henderson, meanwhile, appears to have won the race to regain his fitness in time for the tournament after suffering a knee injury for Liverpool in April.

“[It was] my first start in a while but still a lot of things I need to improve on and work on,” he said.

“But the most important thing was getting back out there, getting on the pitch and getting that sharpness back, that feel for first-team football again.”

Fri 27 May, 2016
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