Rashford still optimistic, Martial ready to start

Wednesday 12 April 2023 13:09

Erik ten Hag reports Marcus Rashford is "disappointed" but "not broken" by the injury which will cause him to miss Manchester United's next few games.

One hour after we confirmed Rashford will be ruled out for Thursday's clash with Sevilla at Old Trafford, the manager admitted at his pre-match press conference: "Of course it is a setback and he is disappointed about it but he is not totally broken because he knows he will return quickly.

"He is optimistic and he has started straight on his recovery and his rehab. That helps him to get back soon."

Ten Hag and De Gea's press conference Video

Ten Hag and De Gea's press conference

Press conference | See how Erik ten Hag and David De Gea answered questions from the media ahead of matchday...

Inevitably, the first question at the media briefing, as shown live on ManUtd.com and the United App at midday, was about the likely length of Rashford's absence.

"It's a few games," replied Ten Hag, reiterating the information released by the club.

"I can't give more details because we have to see how the injury develops."
The conversation ahead of our Europa League quarter-final soon moved on to how the Reds will cope without Rashford, and whether Anthony Martial - who has recently returned from injury himself - is ready to start games after three appearances as a substitute against Newcastle United, Brentford and Everton.

"I think he is ready to start a game, yeah," said Ten Hag.

"I think already against Everton he was ready to start the game. But I have to say that the front line against Brentford and Everton worked really well. We were continually a threat and it was difficult for the opponent to defend.

"The advantage was also that we could bring Anthony Martial slowly back into the team, give him some minutes and get him used to games at the highest level, and highest intensity."
Martial's nine goal involvements this season Video

Martial's nine goal involvements this season

Anthony Martial has been injured for much of 2022/23, but he's still scored seven goals and registered two assists...

Although Martial has made only 17 appearances this season, nine of these as a sub, he has registered nine goal involvements. One of these came in his only Europa League outing to date, when he scored in last October's 3-2 away win over Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus - just two minutes after coming off the bench to replace Bruno Fernandes.

"You say I have defended him but I just point to the stats," said Ten Hag, when challenged by a reporter on his staunch support of Martial.

"The stats are telling you that the moment he is on the pitch, the time he needs for a goal is [short].

"When he is in the team, I refer to games against Man City and Liverpool, we play our best football and we have the best results as a team. So yeah, if you can say I defended him, I am just pointing to the stats and I see how he contributes to this team."