Marcus Rashford has attributed his devastating goal-scoring form to mentality and getting in the right scoring areas where his teammates can find him.
Rashford spoke to The Manchester Evening News where he discussed a number of issues including his rich vein of form, his past shoulder injury and the upcoming Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United.
The Englishman told The MEN, “Football is probably 95 per cent to do with your mentality. For me, that’s everything, that gives you the baseline to go and perform. Without that side, you’re just playing off ability.”
“At top level, it’s not enough to win consistently. So there are a lot of players that have ability, that’s why they play at the top level. But what sets them apart is the mentality. I’ve been on both sides of it. I understand the strength of it and the value of it.”
The Englishman said that at the moment, his primary objective lies in remaining in his current headspace, which will help him become a more devastating player capable of winning trophies.
He added, “I’m just in the areas to score goals more consistently. It’s something I’ve been working on but in the last few years I feel like even the seasons where I’ve done all right I feel I could have added another 10 or 15 goals if I was more consistent in the areas.”
The 25-year-old credited Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff for aiding in his incredible improvement. Rashford remarked that the backroom personnel regularly tell him to keep going even if the ball does not arrive.
“Just having them constant reminders and stuff like that, I feel like I’m just drifting into those positions now and it’s great to be able to do that.”
Rashford name-dropped Benni McCarthy as someone who has had a massive impact on his career turnaround.
The United number 10 was quizzed about the difficult 18 months he endured under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick and in particular the shoulder injury that subsequently sidelined him for an extended period of time.
As per Rashford, no one else apart from people at the club knew the extent of the injury. The player disclosed that he had been dealing with the physical setback for a long time, extending well beyond one season.
The United academy graduate however said that his love for being on the pitch meant that he was willing to sacrifice and make himself available to the manager.
“If I’m out injured, I’m not happy. I’m dealing with the pain and I’m not happy. So I would rather try and deal with the pain as long as I can perform and still help the team, I’d always choose to do that.”
Rashford told his interviewers that last season surgery was long overdue and it was the right decision to go ahead with it.
On his disastrous spell last term that saw the United man clinch only five goals, he said “I can’t get it back, but one thing I can do is just learn from it and try and do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
If his words are anything to go by, Rashford has well and truly learned and is now thriving under Erik ten Hag. He has notched 24 goals in 37 games for United this campaign.
The possibility of winning a trophy is on the horizon. United are set to face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final today.
Rashford reiterated his belief that winning the Carabao Cup could be the catalyst to sustained success at Old Trafford.
The forward admits that winning the cup was one of the team’s objectives when the season started.
Looking ahead to the game, Rashford commented, “Yeah, it’s a final. Yeah, you might have to approach it a little bit differently. But the end goal is the same as the beginning of the season and it’s to try and win the game.”
“I’ve said before when we’ve done well in tournaments or an individual does well in a tournament and you don’t win it, it’s all for nothing. we want the performances that we’ve had in the tournament so far we want them to count for something and stand for something and the only way to do that is to go on and win the trophy.”
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