Erik ten Hag says Manchester United ‘have to back’ Marcus Rashford

Erik ten Hag has a “lot of sympathy” for struggling Marcus Rashford and says everyone needs to get behind the misfiring Manchester United forward.

The 26-year-old had a career-high 30 goals last season and was rewarded with a big-money new deal until 2028 over the summer, but his form has dropped off markedly since then.

Rashford has managed just eight goals in 40 appearances for his boyhood club, with his output criticised by onlookers and some fans booing him in last Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Coventry.

The England international told the Players’ Tribune in February that “if you back me, good” and “if you doubt me, even better”, but he feels criticism has overstepped the mark.

Responding to a post on X that called the treatment of Rashford “absolutely disgusting”, “cruel” and “abuse”, he said: “I appreciate your support! It is abuse and has been for months. Enough is enough.”

That post at 12.36am on Friday was put to his manager in the press conference around 13 hours later.

“I have a lot of sympathy for Rashy, of course,” United boss Ten Hag said.

“So last year he had a brilliant season. I think the best season in his career, he scored 30 goals, so there you see where he’s capable of.


“This season he didn’t give the performances and then people are very critical, and I think we have to back him.

“Everyone should back him and push him to get back to the levels he was last year.”

Pushed on the criticism of Rashford, Ten Hag reiterated: “I think he needs the support.

“We all know what he’s capable of, so we all have to support but also to push him because he can do better than he’s doing this year.

“We have shown so last year, where he was really brilliant.”

Rashford will again be unavailable when injury-hit United host relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday, when Mason Mount is set to be the only returning face.

Asked if he is expecting to have two regular centre-backs available for the game, Ten Hag said with a resigned laugh: “No. Same squad apart from Mason Mount. He will return into the squad.”

With Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Willy Kambwala, Jonny Evans and Lisandro Martinez still absent, it means Casemiro is set to start as makeshift centre-back again.

But Ten Hag expects Martinez to be back for a run-in that concludes with the FA Cup final against Manchester City, so too long-term absentees Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial.

“I think we are going to see them in this season,” he said of the trio. “They returned, all three, onto the pitch.

“Next week they have to make this step into team training and so I think they can be available for the last weeks. They progress well, yeah.”


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