Marcus Rashford being interviewed.

Rashford excited by Ten Hag's detailed first week

Sunday 03 July 2022 11:30

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has provided a glowing review of Erik ten Hag’s first week at Carrington and revealed how our new manager has immediately made a commanding impression.

The Academy graduate and lifelong Reds supporter sat down with our club reporter Joe Ganley at Carrington on Saturday afternoon to speak in detail about his summer break, pre-season and the 2022/23 campaign.

As you can read in the Q&A below, a revitalised Rashford is feeling excited about the future and particularly after experiencing a first week of intense but enjoyable session under Ten Hag. Check out the in-depth interview here…

Welcome back Marcus, it's great to see you again. Can you just tell us how it feels to be back at the club ahead of what should be a really exciting season?
“Yeah, definitely, we have got that feeling of excitement and that buzz around the training ground again and so it is definitely positive going into pre-season. It is just about, one, getting the principles right of how Erik wants us to play and the details, and, two, enjoying it. In the first week of training we have done both and everyone is looking forward to going on the tour and putting what we have done in training into the first games.”

It is a fresh start for everyone and we can all really sense that at the training ground and around the club. It's nice to look at the future, isn't it?
“It is a fresh start for everyone and for me personally I have had quite a long break, a nice camp before coming back into training, and how we are starting off on the right foot. Like I said, everyone is looking forward to pre-season now and going out to try to put into the games what we have learned in training so far, and what we will continue to learn, not only in the pre-season but throughout the season as well.”
Rashford: The new manager is so positive Video

Rashford: The new manager is so positive

Exclusive | Watch our Q&A with Marcus Rashford for details of his summer break, fitness and Erik ten Hag's arrival...

We saw you working really hard over the summer from a physical point of view, from your social clips, so it looks like you're already in unbelievable shape. Is it fair to say you're even more motivated than ever before?
“Yeah, definitely. I think, well I have definitely not had that much rest before in a summer break, so it was a little bit strange at first and I had to adjust my program a little bit, make it a little bit longer, so I could come in with a positive look on everything, and like I say we are excited to go away [on tour] now. You feel every day now you are getting that one step sharper and one step fitter to being ready for the season.”

You mentioned the arrival of the new manager earlier. That must give everyone a great feeling ahead of the season?
“Yeah, 100 per cent. I think for me, it is just fresh ideas, fresh tactics and a new personality that has been added to the team. I am looking forward to working with him but also for us to give ourselves time as well to fit into what he wants us to do and to really feel natural doing it. That is what he wants us to do, for it to be second nature doing the things he wants us to do. Those things do take time but it is a challenge we are all looking forward to.”
It sounds like you are already enjoying it and it has only been a few days of working with Erik. It sounds like all of the new coaches and Ten Hag have made a good impressive immediately?
“Yeah, definitely. Don't get me wrong, it has been tough, but we have all enjoyed the training sessions and we are mixing it up as well. We are not just doing all football and all running, we are doing a little bit of both so it's fun and it's good signs looking forward. He is very detailed out on the grass and even in the rules of each game. Like I said, it is all fresh and when something is fresh it is good for the mind and good for the body, so we are all looking forward to working with him and hopefully we continue to improve. That is the main thing that we want to do.”

You are going to get a full pre-season this year and you weren't fortunate enough to have that last summer with the lay-off. In training we can see you have hit the ground running, so it must be lovely to know that when the first competitive game comes around you have got all of that work in the bank?
“Yeah, 100 per cent. I don't think I have had a proper pre-season since 2019 so for me it is definitely a positive thing. I feel like I probably needed that time to switch off a little bit and me having that time enabled me to refocus a lot earlier than I expected to be honest. It [the break] was just a few days over four weeks and I always split it in half, so I had two weeks when I was just relaxing and a little over two weeks when I was training so it's been a good period for me. Like I say, I feel ready and focused so when that first game does come it's good to know you have done almost six weeks of training beforehand. It will definitely be a positive.”
Training highlights: Ten Hag’s first session Video

Training highlights: Ten Hag’s first session

Erik ten Hag arrived early & left late on a galvanising first day at Carrington. Watch his energetic training session...

We always ask you about the Academy because you have been such a success story from that point of view. This week we have seen lots of young players getting good chances to impress in training with the first team. How influential can that experience be for them?
“Yeah I think it is massive. I was gutted when I was 17 and I missed out on the tour because I had a back injury. Honestly, when you know that you are being involved in the first team and you have got a chance to go on the tour, it's a massive opportunity. It's a period to be around the first team every day, training with us every day, play games with us and get minutes under your belt. And that can really trigger something for you in your career and, for me, it was mentally the steps that I took forward when I first starting training and playing with the first team. It was huge. It is something that you can't take for granted. Hopefully some of them get the opportunity to come with us and play some minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them started the season with us as well because they have all started training well, they have all come back in good condition, so there are only positive things I can say really. Everyone is giving 100 per cent, which is the main thing at this stage of the season, and it is probably going to take another week and a half until we are all really fit and raring to go. In these periods when it is tough, when you are doing your first sets of runs, all of the lads have been doing that and I think the young lads have done well. The first team lads have set a good example, so hopefully they get an opportunity to come on the tour and play some games.”

Lots of players say when they go on the global tours that it's when the magnitude of this club and the support hits them. Obviously we know in Manchester the club is massive, it's all everyone talks about, but do you still feel that when you go abroad?
“I think I am more prepared for it now because I have done it before. For me, I have always understood how big this club is and how great a club it is. We have lots of admirers and supporters that travel across the world to see us play football. That support is not going away, it has always been strong regardless of how well we are doing. That is what support is, they are going to be there in good times and in bad times. It is just another special thing about this club and, 100 per cent, everybody is looking forward to going on tour and being able to perform in front of fans that aren't going to be able to see us every single game. It's all positive really. It is just an opportunity to put all of your training work into a game.”
Training highlights: Hard work x good vibes Video

Training highlights: Hard work x good vibes

Training highlights | Thursday's session mixed ball work with running, hard work and good vibes...

On tour you get to spend so much time together as a group. How great is it to be back with the players and the staff?
“It is a great feeling and it is probably the main thing that you miss when you are away. So, being around the lads again and the staff is a great feeling. Obviously we have some new staff members as well so it is a good opportunity to get to know them even more and for them to do the same with us. It is always fun, we have to be serious and enjoy it when we are on the pitch, and when we are off the pitch we can recover and find ways to entertain ourselves. I am sure there will be a bit of cards playing and a few games when we are in the hotel, and stuff like that, so everyone is looking forward to it. It is definitely something that you miss when you separate and go to different places on holiday.”

Not long after Oslo and then the final pre-season game at Old Trafford, will you be relishing that first Premier League game at home?
“Yeah it is a great feeling. To have the first game at Old Trafford is massive and I don't think the lads would have it any other way. It feels like it has been ages since we played our last game and wore the shirt. That game is going to be an amazing feeling, but until then we have to listen to the coach, work hard in training and make sure we are doing our best to be in good condition to win that game, because that is the important thing. Come that first game of the season, we have to be ready and give our best version of ourselves.

Old Trafford is a great place to be - I know as a fan - when there is a new manager, there's a fresh start and everyone is just really excited...
“Everyone is just raring to go and they will be as excited as we are. They will be behind us, behind the manager, behind the staff and just pushing us like they always do. At the start of the season it is important to get off to a good start and being at home gives us a good opportunity to do that. If we are successful, then it will be well deserved after a long training camp.”

Ten Hag's first week in photos: