Rashford: I feel ready to kick on now
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford feels ready to push on and become the player he knows he can be for the first time in his career, after making his inaugural appearance of the season.
Last weekend, our no.10 returned from a lengthy absence that had forced him to miss our first 10 matches of this season, while recovering from an operation to fix a long-term shoulder issue.
Introduced as a 65th-minute substitute against Leicester City, Marcus made an instant impact on his comeback by netting our second goal of the match.
Now, he is determined to kick on and help United win as many matches as possible over the coming months, starting with the Champions League tie against Atalanta at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Ahead of the matchday three clash in Group F, Rashford sat down with club reporter Mark Sullivan for an in-depth interview, which you can read in full below...
Marcus, we know it was a disappointing result at the weekend, but personally, how did it feel for you to be back on the pitch and scoring?
“Yeah it was obviously a nice feeling. The best feeling was probably joining back in training to be honest with you, I’d been out for so long and training away from the team. That day when you can train with the team, you feel part of the team again and obviously the first game is similar to that, but the result obviously didn’t go our way. Now for us, it’s just important [that we look ahead to the next game]. The next game is the most important game. There’s no point looking ahead to the next block of fixtures because everybody knows that is going to be tough. But to get through that, we just take it one game at a time and try to win and perform in each game.”
Of course we’ve missed you and to have you back feels like getting a new signing, it’s another top forward for Ole to choose from. With all these big games, we need our quality to shine…
“Yeah definitely and I can say, probably the last two years, I have been nowhere near the best I can do. It’s not to say that I’ve not been playing well, I think I’ve done alright but I know that I can give more. This is the first time for me, at this stage of my career, where I feel ready to just kick on now and really be the player that I know I can be. But I want to do it within this Man United team, I want us to climb the ladder together.”
That’s music to the ears of all fans because ever since we’ve watched you make your debut, progress, and achieve the things you’ve done, it’s always been from a place you love. From coming through the academy, from playing for the team you love, and now to hear you say that the future is going to be bright and you’re going to do everything you can to help the team, as a fan that’s really good. You love big games, how excited are you for the upcoming big games: Atalanta, Liverpool, Spurs away? Some cracking games…
“Yeah there’s some great games and I think the reason why everyone in the club gets excited about them because we know when we play the top teams, they’re going to bring the best out of us and if we’re not at our best, we’re not going to win, it’s as simple as that. So, everyone is looking forward to it but like I said before, just take it one step at a time and that’s the best way to get through it. Play a game, hopefully win, recover well and then prepare for the next game.”
The next game is Atalanta in the Champions League and it’s a competition in which you’ve enjoyed some fantastic moments you’ll one day look back on with immense pride. How excited are you every time you get the chance to play in this competition?
“Yeah, I’ve always loved the Champions League, just from when I was young really, just from watching United play when I was in the stands. It’s a special atmosphere, it’s a special occasion and it’s almost like they’re putting you on a stage to perform. It’s an unbelievable feeling so I’m definitely pleased to be back playing in the Champions League. It’s about the performance now, can we get the performance and the win? There’s been a few games this season where we’ve got the performance and not got the result and there’s been games the opposite way around as well. So, let’s try and get a balance of both: the performance and the three points.”
“Yeah that’s going to be a great feeling. I was looking, probably about a month ago when I was injured, at the fixtures for roughly when I’m going to be coming back and I was desperate for it to be a home game but when I looked at it, I thought it would probably be that Leicester game. But it’s going to be an unbelievable feeling, something I’ve been looking forward to since we lost the Europa League final. Hopefully, we put on a good display for them [the fans] and everybody goes home happy.”
And your thoughts on the Italian team, Atalanta…
“Yeah, I think they’ve been a good team now for a few years now, a few seasons. They’re consistent and what they are is very, very aggressive. I feel like Atalanta could play well in the Premier League because they’re so aggressive and on the front foot. When they’re defending and when they’re attacking, they all go, they attack with intent to score goals. That’s why I say, after a result like Leicester, a team like Atalanta is perfect for us to play against because they’re going to push us and push us and push us. If we want to win that game, we’re going to have to be at our best and we’re going to have to be willing to run as much as they run and fight as much as they fight, and then hopefully our quality will shine through.”
“What Ole’s always said to us is that you win your home games, you get results away from home, whether they’re draws or you sneak a win in. But make sure you win your home games and it will put you in a strong position for the group. Despite the loss to Young Boys, we got the win against Villarreal, and now this is the next home game here. So, let’s hope we can get the three points and move onto the next one.”