Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Marcus Rashford lauds Ten Hag as Man Utd dressing room unity emphasised; reveals team-mate who has ‘no fear’

Erik ten Hag, Marcus Rashford of Man Utd

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has sung the praises of Erik ten Hag and also spoken highly of young team-mate Alejandro Garnacho.

Rashford was on the bench for the first half of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday. He came off the bench at half time, replacing Antony, and made a big impact.

Manchester United were 1-0 up at that point thanks to a Diogo Dalot goal and Rashford joined him on the scoresheet. The Englishman sent a powerful header in at the near post by connecting with a Luke Shaw cross.

Cristiano Ronaldo then registered his third goal of the campaign as Manchester United won 3-0 at Old Trafford.

Rashford’s second-half performance drew big praise from former Man Utd players Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves. Scholes said he is ‘a real threat’ while Hargreaves backed him to become Man Utd’s all-time record scorer. That accolade is currently held by Wayne Rooney, who found the net 253 times for the Red Devils.

During an interview with the PA news agency, Rashford has hailed Dutch boss Ten Hag. His comments show just how close everyone at Man Utd is right now.

“The manager’s a joy to work with, really,” Rashford said. “Is it hard work? Yeah, but I think we are enjoying it and we’re playing better football.

“I feel like when we don’t concede goals, we’ve got a good chance of winning games because we’re creating chances.

Man Utd urged to be ‘more clinical’

“We just need to finish them off, be a bit more clinical in front of goal.”

The 24-year-old had a disappointing campaign last season, netting just five goals. This saw his spot in the England squad come under threat.

But Rashford has already eclipsed last season’s figure and is picking up form just in time for the World Cup.

“I feel like I’m getting there,” he said when asked about his recent performances. “But, yeah, I’m a lot more happy, I’m enjoying myself a lot more.”

On the team spirit under Ten Hag, Rashford continued: “I think it’s a little bit of everything, but it’s definitely something that you have to build.

“We’ve had some new signings come in the summer and we’ve just managed to make it work and build that team spirit as quickly as we did.

“I feel like the players have integrated well and we’re learning about each other more and more.

‘Team spirit is very high’, says Marcus Rashford

“But, yeah, definitely, the team spirit is very high and we want to keep that going.

“Good performances help but even in the bad times we are going to stick together.”

Rashford was then asked about teenage attacker Garnacho. He picked up his first Man Utd start against Sheriff and impressed out on the left wing. And Rashford praised his team-mate for showing ‘no fear’.

“I thought Garno was brilliant. He expressed himself on the pitch, which is always something that we encourage.

“He just came on and showed no fear. He got at his man, beat him, put crosses in, he pressed well.

“The only thing that was missing, really, was a goal but I think he can be proud of himself.

“He’s had a performance that he can build on now and hopefully he gets more and more minutes. If he plays like that, I’m sure he will.”

Rashford’s comments on Ten Hag and the squad unity show Man Utd are heading in the right direction. They looked fragmented under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

But Ten Hag has developed a strong core of players, both through the existing stars and new signings. Champions League qualification would be a great way of showing the club means business once again.

Man Utd are next in action on Sunday when West Ham visit Old Trafford in the league.

Meanwhile, a pundit thinks things will only get ‘worse and worse’ for a Man Utd player unless he takes part in a ‘reality check’.