Marcus Rashford at Old Trafford.

Rashford reveals his personal challenge

Marcus Rashford is remaining thirsty for goals as he looks to add to his haul in Saturday's game with Norwich City.

The England international took his tally for 2019/20 to 17 with the strike in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, which is already his personal best for a season.

It continued a fine run of form for the 22-year-old, who was not only our Player of the Month in December but also the recipient of the PFA Fans' award for the same period. However, for the forward, it is not about personal accolades or even how many times he has found the net, but more about getting in the right areas to hit the target.

Marcus Rashford with the award.
Marcus with the Player-of-the-Month award he retained.

“My goalscoring form has been good,” he told us. “As a forward, you always find areas you can improve and score more so I think that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on – getting in positions where I’ve been scoring and getting there more often in games, to score more goals to help the team. I think that’s the focus from the forward players and it’s been good.

“It’s a nice feeling to be put on that level [the Player of the Month] but honestly, for me, it’s how often can I repeat that and how long can I stay at that level. That’s the challenge for me.”

Rashford's personal favourite from last month was his towering header against Newcastle United, an illustration of another string to his bow.

“Probably Newcastle, I think,” he replied, when asked about the pick of his six strikes from eight matches. “Just scoring different types of goals, as a forward, is something that is necessary really if you want to be scoring 20-25 goals in a season. You have to score a variety of different goals and that was one for me I’ve been working on. I think it was nice for me to get one in that game.

“We always work on heading but, for me, it’s not necessarily the technique in doing the header, it’s the timing and the weight of the pass and how fast you run going into the equation. It’s those things running through your mind when you’re playing and, for one to come off, was good.”

Another header led to a first-half equaliser during the 2-2 draw against Aston Villa but it was eventually recorded as a Tom Heaton own goal.

“Yeah but, to be fair,” he replied. “I should have just stuck it in the net myself. Obviously that one didn’t count for me but you get the picture and to keep getting in those areas is what is important.”

Highlights: United 4 Newcastle 1Video

Rashford, who is poised to make his 200th appearance for the club against Norwich this weekend, scored his 50th goal in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road and appreciates that, despite their lowly position, the Canaries will aim to make life difficult at Old Trafford.

“Norwich play good football,” he added. “I remember the first game we played them, in tight situations, they were very good at switching the play and stuff like that. They’ve definitely been unlucky this season, in terms of where they are positioned in the league, and they are a team we need to show respect.

“They have some dangerous players and it will be a good game. Hopefully, we can get to grips with them and control it from early on. Hopefully, we’ll score some goals but we’ll be patient as well. You can’t score every time you attack, it’s about having that knowledge of games and being patient on the ball.”

Highlights: Norwich 1 United 3Video

“It was a crazy game there,” Rashford recalled. “We missed two penalties in the first half but then we both went on to score [he and Anthony Martial]. It was 3-0 before half-time but, even throughout this period, when we could have had five goals, they played some good football and were difficult at times, shifting us from side to side. They have got some good players on the counter attack, Teemu Pukki’s movement is terrific, so they have got threats throughout the pitch.

“We worked hard and that was what created our good patterns of play we had. We scored goals because we went there and worked hard as a team.

“They like to attack with their full-backs and push players up from midfield and have midfield runners. They are a team that plays good football and want to score goals and, you know, that sometimes suits us a little bit. However they decide to play, we have to find a way to break them down and score goals because that is what is going to win us the game.”

Read an exclusive Rashford interview in United Review, Saturday's official match programme.

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