11/03/2018 22:30, Report by Stuart Mathieson

Rashford lessons paid off against Liverpool

Marcus Rashford’s matchday classroom is not the centre of his football education at the moment.

The 20-year-old two-goal hero of Manchester United’s thrilling 2-1 win against Liverpool insists the Aon Training Complex is his premium study area and Saturday's opponents certainly know he’s a star pupil following his daily lessons there.

“Right now I'm probably not learning the most on the pitch [in matches],” Marcus says. “In training is where I'm doing most of my learning but you have to take it into the game and against Liverpool it worked.

"There's a lot of things I’m learning. The all-round game is starting to become more clear. Things the manager wants are becoming more clear to me. The more that happens, the easier the results come on the pitch.”

Rashford is arguably destined to become a central striker but for the moment he’s happy with the left-sided role he’s been occupying.

"It doesn't really matter [about being central]," said the Mancunian. "I'm more comfortable in the middle, but if you get past a player on the left that's where you are going to be. You need to express yourself.

"That's what all of us have to do in the team. We've all been asked to play in various positions and everyone takes it in their stride. I'm comfortable playing on the left, the right, up front - it adds to your game.”

Rashford’s start against Jurgen Klopp’s side was his first in the Premier League since the Boxing Day game against Burnley and his goals were his first in the competition since the Manchester derby clash with City in December. Nevertheless, while he's had time out from the starting action, he has remained on the matchday scene and he agrees with Jose Mourinho's assertion that verbal reassurance is not needed.

“The manager doesn't have to [speak to me]," said Rashford. "In football you are going to be up, you're going to be down. The most important thing is sticking together as a squad. Everyone turns up every day for training, we all work hard, we all do the necessary things. We are all in it together. Sometimes you are in the team, sometimes you are not in the team.

“When you are younger than I am and you are learning the game I think you do need it [reassuring words]. But from my experiences of the past I understand that's part of the game. There are only 11 players that start - it's just one of the those things.

“For the future it is something you have been through before. If it happens again you will probably deal with it better than the first time it happened to you. It is just another experience.”

Having his pal Jesse Lingard on hand has helped Rashford to remain unaffected by his starting XI exile.

“You can’t be depressed around me! I’m always winding him up,” said Jesse.

“It is good that I can be around Marcus to have a laugh and reassure him that it’s going to come good and that if he gets a chance he will perform and he has done that.

"He has got good people around him, and they always assure him he is in a good place. What kid wouldn’t want to be at United at the moment? He is doing well, he has come in and he has got the right mentality and he has shown the manager what he can do.

“It’s a big club with big players and for players like me and Marcus it’s going to be tough to start every game but once you are on the pitch you have got to make an impact and maybe in the next game you will be starting. But you’ve got to always work hard and he does.

“If he can keep improving, keep doing what he is doing, the sky is the limit for him.”


Premier League