Soccer  

Manchester United 3-1 Everton: Marcus Rashford backed to keep scoring by boss Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes Marcus Rashford can carry on scoring providing he maintains his present focus.

Rashford took his tally for the season to 13 with an injury-time penalty as United overcame a determined Everton outfit in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

The England man has now scored in five successive games for the first time.

“Marcus has fantastic skills and when he has that mental stability he can keep going,” said Dutchman Ten Hag.

In addition to his penalty, Rashford claimed the assists for United’s opening two goals.

He crossed for Antony’s third-minute effort and then beat Seamus Coleman before teasing Conor Coady into putting the ball into his own net as United won the third-round tie 3-1.

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has scored in five successive games for Manchester United

Rashford is now just nine goals off his best ever tally in 2019-20 and Ten Hag feels the 25-year-old can continue this form.

“That demands a lot from him and from us but when he keeps focus like that I am sure he can keep this process going,” he said.

While Ten Hag regularly publicly praises his players, even someone in Rashford he left out of his starting line-up at Wolves for bad time-keeping less than a week ago, other more demanding voices are also being supportive.

Former United skipper Roy Keane is notoriously hard to please but he feels Rashford has taken his game to another level.

“The beauty of tonight, is that is what I expect from him,” he told ITV. “I’m not surprised by his performance.

“He is becoming one of the main players for Manchester United. He is taking responsibility. I expect goals and assists from him every week now as he is obviously playing with confidence.”

If there is a concern it comes from how much United are relying on Rashford at a time when Ten Hag is expressing concern about the ‘load’ on his players in a busy period that includes next week’s Old Trafford derby with Manchester City followed by high-profile trips to Arsenal and Leeds United.

Anthony Martial is United’s next highest scorer with five, while Antony is third on the list with four.

Rashford says he is playing at his ‘best’ level. Ten Hag thinks there is more to come.

“It is clear he can work on his weaker foot and on his heading but on other skills he is very good,” the manager said.

“It is also about bringing him in the right position. Marcus is doing very well but also the team needs to work so that he can bring his strengths in and be unstoppable with the speed of his dribbles.”