Rangnick: Rashford can be a regular again
Marcus Rashford will aim to become a regular starter for Manchester United again and won’t settle for being an impact substitute, says Ralf Rangnick.
The 24-year-old Mancunian has stormed back to form as a goalscoring hero with two strikes as a substitute in four days, including the sensational and dramatic stoppage-time winner that secured the Reds a thrilling 1-0 victory over West Ham United.
Rashford broke an 11-game drought against Brentford on Wednesday, a run that stretched back to 30 October when he also scored in the capital, against Spurs.
Our no.10 came on against the Bees in the 71st minute, as a replacement for Mason Greenwood, and six minutes later put the Premier League game beyond doubt with our third goal in the eventual 3-1 win.
Against West Ham, he replaced Anthony Elanga in the 61st minute. This time he left it to the very last second to score, when he raced in at the far post to stab home Edinson Cavani’s cross and snatch the stirring winner that saw Old Trafford erupt.
It meant two goals in successive matches for Rashford to end a period that has seen him criticised in some quarters outside the club.
But Rangnick says the ball is in Marcus’s court if he doesn’t want to have that 'super sub' label attached permanently.
“We have a lot of wingers, we have a lot of outstanding players in that position,” said the interim manager in his press conference.
“Jadon (Sancho) was not available today but we have a lot of players for those two positions (striker and winger) and Marcus is one of them.
“Right now, yes, he has scored twice in consecutive games when he came from the bench but, of course, his ambition is to play regularly from the start again.
“It is up to him. If he continually plays on a high level and keeps scoring goals, of course this is the best way to get back into the team and play from the beginning.”
Rangnick now wants Rashford to keep his purple patch going.
“He is one of the top strikers in England. He is an English international who regular played in the Euros,” said Ralf.
“We all know what kind of quality he has. He has got almost everything that a modern striker needs. He has got the pace, the skills, he has got the size, the physicality of the striker and in the end it is all about confidence for strikers.
“I am pretty sure that those two goals have raised the level of confidence within Marcus. Now it is about taking the next steps and showing that on a regular basis.
“It is about continuity now. I think he can play a very important role for the rest of the season for us.”