Marcus Rashford’s scintillating form comes from “just confidence” and not the influence of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, who joked: “I’m not Harry Potter”.
The England international scored his 18th goal of the season amid a routine 3-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg victory at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
Only Erling Haaland (31) has netted more than Rashford among Premier League players in all competitions this term, though Ten Hag says he has had little influence on the United forward’s development.
“I’m not Harry Potter,” the Dutchman said ahead of Saturday’s fourth-round FA Cup clash at home to Reading.
“It’s just confidence. Every player has to make and get his own confidence.
“He fought for this, he invested in this. Of course with my coaching staff, we bring in structures, especially in the way of play that gives him routines that he needs to get into the right position.
“But finally, it’s up to him, and when the player has the confidence then I’m convinced, in the way we are working – the way of play is most important but the environment and the culture are also important – then the player can perform at his best.
“It’s obvious that Marcus is in really good form. From day to day, from training to training, from game to game, the routines are coming in.”
5 – Marcus Rashford is the first @ManUtd player to score 5+ goals in a single League Cup campaign since Carlos Tevez in 2008-09 (6). Energy. #NFOMUN pic.twitter.com/GecIs6kuqW
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 25, 2023
Rashford has found the net 10 times after the World Cup, in which England fell to quarter-final elimination against France in Qatar.
Harry Maguire was another to impress in the Middle East for Gareth Southgate’s side, but opportunities remain limited on club duty at Old Trafford.
A potential move to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa was reported for Maguire, who Ten Hag urged to fight for a starting role at United amid competition from Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. Luke Shaw has also been used at centre-back.
“No, he’s not fifth choice,” he said about Maguire. “But it’s up to him.
“I have to say he’s training very well, bringing quality, and that is what I expect from all the players in the squad.
“He has to fight for his position and things can change, sometimes really quickly. He is making progress.”
An FA Cup clash against Championship side Reading may present Maguire with an opportunity to feature from the start, though Ten Hag refuted claims he does not trust the centre-back in big matches.
He said: “That’s not true. After the World Cup he should have played but then he got ill. I can’t do anything about that and he knows that. Then the team comes in a run [of form] and he has to wait for his chance.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.
You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.