Jose Mourinho insists he is not worried about Marcus Rashford despite admitting the Manchester United forward is suffering a barren spell in front of goal.
United required late goals from Jesse Lingard and substitute Romelu Lukaku to see off Derby in the FA Cup third round – after Rashford had spurned a number of openings.
Mourinho’s belief that it was not going to be Rashford’s night came after the forward missed three good first-half opportunities, including one free header he glanced onto the post from six yards out.
The 20-year-old, who started as a central striker, moved to the flanks after Lukaku’s arrival but was denied by the woodwork again as his goal drought extended to an eighth game.
His dip in form has coincided with Jesse Lingard’s purple patch and it was his latest wonder strike, his eighth goal in 10 games, that finally broke Derby’s resistance in the 84th minute.
“He’s in this moment where things go well for him,” Mourinho said of Lingard.
“He’s the opposite of Marcus. Marcus is in training and scores unbelievable goals. He’s coming to matches and he’s missing unbelievable chances. He hits the post and the goalkeeper saves.
“Clearly the players have these moments. I’m not worried with Marcus because the good moments will arrive and Jesse, if the negative moment arrives, I don’t think he will lose this stability that he’s showing.”
Gary Rowett purrs over Lingard
There was no sign of Lingard’s confidence wavering on Friday night when he beat Scott Carson with a swerving half volley that even Derby boss Gary Rowett could not help but admire.
“It was an unbelievable strike and that was probably what it was going to take,” Rowett told RamsTV.
“Lingard just took a touch, we couldn’t get close enough to it, and he’s just spanked it in from 30 yards into the top corner.
“It was a fitting way to win the game certainly. I think I stood and applauded for about 10 seconds.”
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