Friday Briefing: Rashford vows to play through pain
Marcus Rashford may have been hurting, like every Manchester United supporter in midweek, but he has promised to keep playing through any pain on the pitch and put the Champions League exit behind him.
The homegrown talent is joint-leading scorer in Europe's top competition this term but says this means nothing to him now the Reds will miss out on a place in the knock-out stages, following the 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig.
There is no better game to refocus the mind than the Manchester derby, however, and a man who has four goals to his name against the Blues will shrug off a niggling shoulder problem in a bid to help fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to another victory over our neighbours, following three wins out of four in 2019/20.
Speaking on the day he received a Sport for Social Change award from the Sports Journalists' Association, Rashford revealed he's managing his injury "day by day" but insists he's ready to take on City once again.
“I have to try to control things I can control,” he told us. “I don’t really worry about the rest. I take it game by game. I know I’m healthy, I’m smiling and I’m ready to play the games.
“I don’t want to miss a game, especially the big, important games. If I feel like I can still help the team by scoring goals, working hard and making assists, there’s no reason why I can’t play with a bit of pain.”
“We take responsibility for it but have to move forward. It’s something that’s in the past now. The reality of it is we can’t change what’s happened.
“We’re definitely disappointed but the only way we can come back from that is to win the next game. So that’s what we’re focusing on now and, yeah, the quicker we get the disappointment out of our system, the better.
“We can still win a lot of trophies this year – that was the aim at the beginning of the season. Just because we lose one game, and get knocked out of one tournament, it doesn’t change that. We can’t let one game cloud what we’ve got ahead of us.”
“If everyone could pick a game after a loss, it’s the Manchester derby,” said the Wythenshawe-born forward.
“It’s the biggest opportunity to redeem yourself, as an individual and as a team. We have to do it together. We win as a team and lose as a team. That’s what football is.
“We’ve got to look forward to giving our all against City and then the same again in the next game, and so on. I think it’s important the quicker we leave that [midweek] game behind us, the better.”
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hold his pre-match press conference to preview Saturday's huge Manchester derby - and you can watch a video stream of him answering the media's questions on ManUtd.com and in the Official App from 13:30 GMT.
Ahead of our meeting with Pep Guardiola's side, the boss will hopefully provide updates on the injured Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, as the Reds seek to win a fifth Premier League game in a row.
With our Under-23s, Under-18s and women's team all in action this weekend too, we'll also be looking ahead to those games.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
We published two articles from our exclusive interview with Alex Telles, ahead of Saturday's fixture. The Brazilian explained his mindset going into the match with our crosstown rivals, and also sent a nice message to a Premier League star currently recovering from a nasty injury.
Bruno Fernandes posted a heartfelt message to supporters after Tuesday's disappointing Champions League defeat to Leipzig, while we took a look at Mason Greenwood's increasing influence on the team - and how his goal in last weekend's win at West Ham helped carve out a place in United history.
Finally, United outlined how we're committed to backing English football's Rainbow Laces campaign, ahead of Saturday's match.