September 25, 2022

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Rashford eager for fresh start under Ten Hag

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said Thursday he was relishing a “fresh start” under new coach Erik ten Hag, keen to put a forgettable last season behind him.

The England international had a frustrating and disappointing 2021/22 campaign, dropped by Gareth Southgate from the national team amid a form dip at the Old Trafford club.

But he has been working hard over the English summer and, injury free, is on his first full pre-season tour since breaking into the senior Red Devils squad.

“For me, it’s a fresh start and something I’m looking forward to,” he said in Melbourne ahead of their tour game against Melbourne Victory after a 4-0 win over Liverpool in Bangkok this week.

“I’m in a good place right now. I’m just looking forward to getting more games under my belt.”

The good place comes is courtesy of a rare, prolonged summer break with no international duty.

“It’s been a bit unnatural for me to have such a long break in the summer, just under four weeks and I could have a break physically and mentally,” said the 24-year-old.

“It’s massive to have a full pre-season. This is the first year I’ve been with the team from the beginning and I already feel a lot better.

“I think the first two-and-a-half weeks of training have been good, we’re (United) a lot fitter than we were last season and also we’re making mistakes along the way so we have a lot of room for improvement.”

Asked about his confidence after a season in which United finished a disappointing sixth in the Premier League, Rashford said it was never easy playing on an underperforming team.

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“I always say to myself it’s a lot easier to make mistakes in a team that’s winning,” he said.

“The last game against Liverpool for example we won but we made a lot of mistakes. Individually it’s the same. When you’re losing it’s difficult — we’re all sportsmen and we don’t like to lose.

“When that happens you have to refocus and try to win the next game.

“It’s a big club we play for and we’re expected to win and we have to work hard to improve.”