Marcus Rashford wears the orange Manchester United training kit

Rashford explains why belief is still high

Saturday 12 December 2020 09:00

Marcus Rashford has detailed one area where confidence is higher than in previous seasons at Manchester United as he hopes the Reds can confirm we are capable of achieving “something special” in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side go into the Manchester derby a point ahead of City but the forward does not necessarily agree that a victory on Saturday would send a message to the rest of the division about the capabilities of a side that has been spectacular away from home but not as impressive at Old Trafford.

Following the Champions League exit to RB Leipzig in midweek, Marcus told us one of the key mental traits Ole has brought to the club since returning as manager and explained why he does not expect chances to be at a premium against Pep Guardiola’s Blues.

When asked if we need to take any opportunities that come our way because it could be a tight affair, Rashford replied: “No, I think we’ll get chances. You know that’s one thing we’ve improved a lot on - we are getting a lot more chances in games compared to a couple of seasons ago. I think, as players, we believe that we are going to get an opportunity to score a goal and, in terms of belief, that’s a massive thing.

“So we, as forwards, when the game is tight, we have a lot more confidence now than we did two or three years ago, that we’re going to get an opportunity at goal to score and win the game for the team. So I feel like we have a lot more threats, even from set-pieces, we’re a lot more threatening than we have been in the past. There are a lot more ways we can score goals.

“We’ve got a lot that we can bring to the table, as do they, and it’s going to be an interesting game, definitely a tactical game; and it’s a Manchester derby so anything can happen.

“Hopefully, we’ll get everyone fit. If we do have everyone fit, we have the best chance of winning the game. Yeah, it’s been a miss not having Edi [Edinson Cavani] and Anto [Anthony Martial] in the team but, hopefully, they’ll come back for this game and definitely give us a lot more firepower going forward."

Rashford insists it is still too soon to be reading too much into the table, even if it could present a healthy picture if the Reds can come out on top this weekend. It is worth remembering both Manchester clubs started the season a week late due to European commitments at the end of 2019/20.

“I think it’s still, with how the league has been going, way too early to be looking at the table really," he told us. "I don’t even know where we were three games ago, compared to where we are now, and all it takes is a couple of wins and teams can be up and down.

“We’ll take it one game at a time to try to pick up points and see where we are a bit later on in the season. But I believe in the team, in the manager and the staff, so, hopefully, we can still do something special this season."

Team news for the Manchester derby


Ole provides an update on the fitness of Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani ahead of the City clash.

So, would success in the derby support any optimism that United can be in the Premier League shake-up come the end of the season and send this message to the other challengers towards the top of the table?

“Do you know what?” he answered. “I think they know. I think they know already we’re a good team and we’re definitely one of the most dangerous teams in the league. I would put us up there in the top three or four most dangerous teams in the league. For us, it’s just about finding that consistent level of performance really.

“Sometimes, there have been times we’ve not played well and won games and, if you’re going to do something special in the league this year, we need to do that a lot more. You know you’re not going to play at your best every single game but it doesn’t mean you lose or draw the game. There is always a way to win the game and we have to find that more.

“Listen – we are a young team, we’re fresh, we’re strong and, yeah, there’s no reason… United always finish strongly. I feel that’s one thing Ole brought with him when he came to United, just that understanding, knowing the club, knowing what it is and what it stands for. Never giving up is right at the top of that list and we’ve shown it on countless occasions. We have to continue to do that.”