Erik ten Hag criticizes Marcus Rashford for night out after 0-3 defeat to Manchester City:
“It is unacceptable,” ten Hag said. “I spoke with him about it, later he apologised and that’s it. It is an internal matter.”
Last season Ten Hag dropped Rashford from the starting XI at Wolves owing to late timekeeping.
The manager also confirmed that Rashford is available for Saturday’s trip to Fulham.
Ten Hag was asked whether Rashford’s decision to go to a nightclub after a defeat showed that the forward was out of tune with his demands.
“Your suggestion is not right,” ten Hag said. “He is very motivated to put things right.”
Ten Hag on Rashford partying after 0-3 derby defeat: “I am aware of it, also spoke with him about it. Unacceptable”.
“Marcus apologised, that’s it. It’s an internal matter”.
“He is very motivated to put things right. He makes a mistake but he’s totally with us, all good”. pic.twitter.com/FQRkt59qBn
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 3, 2023
The defeats by City and Newcastle compound a poor opening phase to the season. United have lost five of 10 home games, won one of three Champions League matches and are eighth in the Premier League, eight points off fourth spot and seven behind fifth-placed Aston Villa. Fifth could secure Champions League qualification.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in May 2013, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær have failed to make United title contenders.
Ten Hag also denied that Rashford had started Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Newcastle as a punishment for his nightclub antics. The manager said that he was simply rotating his squad.
“No, you have seen we rotated more,” he said.
Ten Hag denied Rashford had started that game as a substitute to discipline him, pointing to how Bruno Fernandes and Rasmus Højlund were also on the bench.
Ten Hag was also asked about the club’s poor start to the season and whether the structure of the club made it impossible for United to be title contenders.
“I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t think it wasn’t right,” he said. “Sometimes you have difficult periods but when you stick together you come through those difficult periods.”
Ten Hag denied United had to beat Fulham due to his job being under threat.
“I never think in such scenarios – we have to win every game,” he said, insisting he trusted his players to turn the campaign around.
The defeats by City and Newcastle have come under scrutiny, with many fans questioning the club’s recruitment policy and the manager’s tactics.
“I trust the players and I have to take the responsibility [too],” he said. “Remember the fight we showed against Brentford [scoring twice in added time to win] – the comeback. If there was no fight or spirit or characters in the dressing room you couldn’t do this. They are positive. They want to put this right. We know the standards here and we have to match the standards every day. We had two big setbacks but we will fight back. This dressing room is strong, the staff is strong and the manager is strong to put it right.”
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