'Rashford is ready to rock and roll'
Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has explained how he would look to bring the best out of Marcus Rashford in the upcoming season.
The Treble-winner has been appointed head coach of Macarthur FC in Australia, his first managerial assignment, and spoke to us from Down Under, before the Reds travel to the country as part of Tour 2022.
Yorke was bought by Aston Villa boss Graham Taylor as a wide player but reverted to centre-forward with the Midlanders and received the backing of Brian Little to emerge as a Premier League force to such an extent that he was signed by Alex Ferguson in 1998.
The ex-Trinidad & Tobago international is convinced Rashford is of a similar age and at the same stage of his career when he too can catch fire.
Having spent a lot of time at Carrington as part of acquiring his coaching badges, Yorke is perfectly placed to give his opinion on the 24-year-old, who clearly has his unequivocal backing.
“As a coach now, a head coach, I’d be saying to him he will be playing. I remember my time at Aston Villa, when Brian Little came in. I was around 24 and he put his arm around me and said: ‘Listen, you are my guy, my go-to guy’.
“When I look at what Rashford brings to the team, he’s a local lad for starters and has been at the club ever since [he was a kid]. He is very passionate about the club. He is quick, fast, can jink past defenders. He can score, he can create. I think we’ve got a player there who somehow needs a little bit of love and attention and also needs to hear the correct words, as to you are in that team, you are one of my main guys.
"I think if Erik can certainly take my advice, and I know he is vastly more experienced than me, it’s what I would be doing because I see a player," he added. "I was a player and I can see a player in Marcus, a guy who has an enormous amount of talent, an enormous amount of talent. Even in training, the kind of things he does.
"I’m just amazed he’s not in a good place for some reason and that’s part of the manager’s job, to make sure he gets him back playing the kind of football I know Marcus can produce. It’s just incredible. What I would be doing if I was Erik would be saying to Marcus: you are my guy, let’s get going again. Show him some trust and believe in him. I am sure he will be producing the goods I know that he is capable of.”
Of course, it is not always plain sailing all the time for every forward and Yorke himself overcame a sticky spell in some style with a famous hat-trick against Arsenal in 2001, prompting skipper Roy Keane to yell 'he's back' during the celebrations. For the new A-League coach, the signs are looking positive already that Rashford is capable of regaining his best form and shining under Ten Hag.
"But there is a way of managing that, coming through that, when you’re going through a difficult time. Football is easy when things are going well and everybody knows that. You just turn up, play and click your fingers and everything works out the way you want it to work out. The real challenge is maintaining that consistency and everybody saying that.
"What Rashford is going through is not anything like what any other player has been through. He just needs to get his head right and also needs to be told he is very much part of Manchester United.
"He’s ready to rock and roll this season, he looks in terrific form and I’ve seen him doing little bits in the off-season training, looking really focused and I see someone determined to do well. He just needs, as I say, a little bit of trust and belief in him. I have no doubt you will probably see the best out of Marcus Rashford this season.”
MUTV are showing all of United's Tour 2022 matches live - watch Marcus and the rest of the Reds begin life under Erik ten Hag, starting with Tuesday's big game in Bangkok against Liverpool.
Click here for full details on how to sign up.