Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford opened up in an interview with Andy Mitten on his struggles last season and what the United faithful should expect from him ahead of the new season.
Rashford insisted that fans should expect a big season from him, after a disappointing campaign in which the 24-year-old netted only 4 goals and registered 2 assists in 25 appearances in the Premier League.
On why next season will be better for him than the last, Rashford said, “This is only the second time since I became a professional footballer that I have had a full pre-season. I mean that in terms of rest and getting the work in. I feel really good in myself.”
“I had time to rest, to recover mentally and physically. It didn’t feel like last season just rolled into this one. I want to continue to feel how I feel now.”
“I’m my own harshest critic and I know when I’m not playing my best football and I know when I need to improve. I’ve reflected on that.”
United’s number ten has enjoyed a priceless pre-season, scoring two goals, in what will impress new manager Erik ten Hag. Rashford has not only looked lively while on tour, but his performances on the pitch have also significantly improved under the guidance of his new boss.
Speaking about Ten Hag and the impression the 52-year-old has had on him so far, “A positive one. He’s a positive manager who likes to play attacking football.”
“Even when we’re defending he wants us to be on the front foot, to squeeze the pitch and press high up. He [Ten Hag] wants the forward players to link up and it has been a good start under the new manager and we have to look to build on that. We have to keep improving.”
“The players enjoy this because when we win the ball back we’re in a much better position to try to score. Had the pre-season been hard work? Yes, definitely. Do we enjoy it? Definitely.”
Rashford also spoke about his mental and physical well-being, describing himself as being in a “good place.” This will come as welcome news to the United fans who wish to see the academy graduate get back to his best on the pitch.
“I feel really positive and I know I’m not the only one there. There’s a joined-up feeling among players. We want the season to start to show what we can do.”
Rashford dismissed last season’s poor performances from the team as not a true reflection of themselves, with the player insisting they were far better players than their displays suggested last year.
“We know it didn’t go well. When you are losing games and you’re not picking points, it’s difficult to enjoy yourself on the pitch.”
Rashford also appealed to United supporters to back both himself and the team, outlining that it was up to the players to put a smile on their fans’ faces whom they owe so much.