‘Everyone should back him’: Ten Hag supports Rashford over ‘abuse’

Erik ten Hag has backed Marcus Rashford but said the forward must take some responsibility for his fall-off in goals after the England international described months of criticism as “abuse” and said “enough is enough”.

Rashford is enduring a disappointing campaign in which he has scored only eight times in 41 appearances for Manchester United, having managed a career-high 30 goals last season. The manager was asked what lay behind the marked change.

“That is an interesting question,” he said. “He knows, I know. It has to do with himself but also to do of course with the team and in the first half of the season we had problems. Our attacking game has improved a lot after the winter.”

Asked to clarify whether a personal matter was a factor, Ten Hag replied: “It’s always the two factors I mentioned – the team and it’s himself. They are related to each other.”

At 12.36am on Friday Rashford retweeted a post on X that said: “The way Marcus Rashford is being treated is absolutely disgusting. It’s cruel. It’s abuse.” Above this he wrote: “I appreciate your support! It is abuse and has been for months. Enough is enough.”

Ten Hag was asked about this. “I have a lot of sympathy for Rashy,” he said. “Last year, the best season of his career. This season he didn’t give the performances and then people are very critical. Everyone should back him and push him to get back to the levels he was at last year. We all have to support but also push him.”

Rashford’s off-the-ball contribution has been questioned. “When he is not doing the right stuff out of possession I will confront him – give arguments and also we use data,” Ten Hag said.

He would not be drawn on whether Rashford had been spoken to about this. “That is an internal matter,” he said.

Ten Hag has had to contend with more than 60 injuries and illnesses to players. United are sixth, 24 points behind the leaders, Arsenal. He was asked whether with a less depleted squad next season United could be title challengers.

“This year we stand still but when everyone is available definitely we are competing for the top four,” he said. “Although I have to say it is not any more just a two- or three-horse race – there is [Aston] Villa, Spurs, Newcastle; Chelsea don’t forget them. They are all competing for the top four and we are one [too] but at this moment we are not in the position to compete for No 1 or No 2. That is fact. But we can come closer if we make a good window.”

Mason Mount is available for Saturday’s visit of Burnley after injury. Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Lisandro Martínez are expected to recover from their respective problems before the season’s end.


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