Erik ten Hag expressed no worries about the potential message conveyed by starting Marcus Rashford at Wolves this Thursday. However, the Manchester United manager did remind the team that being a top player requires a certain lifestyle.
Rashford was punished for not showing up to practice on Friday due to reportedly staying out late in Belfast. Ten Hag decided not to include the player in the lineup for the FA Cup win against Newport on Sunday and was questioned about potential interpretations if Rashford had played in the game against Molineux.
“I did not select him for Sunday,” stated the manager. “We establish a boundary from that moment forward. Let’s move forward.”
The coach emphasized his expectations for the team. He stated, “Players at this caliber should be able to handle themselves – that is a reasonable expectation.” He also added, “Players must understand what is beneficial and what is not. When you strive for excellence in football, it requires a certain lifestyle, always.”
Ten Hag stated that the players of United did not show disrespect towards him. In October, Rashford was spotted at Chinawhite, a club in Manchester, on the night of their 3-0 loss against Manchester City. Ten Hag deemed this trip as “unacceptable”.
Last month, Jadon Sancho accused Ten Hag of lying when the coach claimed that the forward was benched for the game against Arsenal due to poor training.
When questioned about his players’ display of disrespect, Ten Hag replied that it was not related and urged everyone to concentrate on the upcoming game and strive for wins.
While Rashford is eligible to be chosen, Sancho was kicked out of the team and was only allowed to return if he apologized. He has since been loaned to Borussia Dortmund. When asked about the different treatment, Ten Hag stated, “We can handle everything within our team.” However, he noted that Sancho made the decision to make his situation public.
Ten Hag was asked about his approach to enforcing discipline. He stated that discipline is crucial not only on the field, but also off the field. There is a clear distinction between what is right and wrong, and every player understands the expectations.
The manager is confident that Rashford will be able to replicate his performance from last season, where he scored 30 goals. In the last two Premier League games, Rashford has scored two goals and provided an assist. The relationship between Rashford and Rasmus Højlund is growing stronger and the team aims to maintain this progress.
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