‘Fresh and ready’ Marcus Rashford looks forward to new season

It is a year and three days since the 24-year-old missed a penalty for England in the Euro 2020 final.

By Press Association Published: 14 July 2022 - 7.57am

Marcus Rashford is refreshed, refocused and relishing this “fresh start” under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag following a poor season.

It is a year and three days since the 24-year-old suffered the crushing disappointment of missing a penalty in England’s shoot-out defeat to Italy in the European Championship final at Wembley.

Post-tournament shoulder surgery meant Rashford did not feature for United until mid-October, when an initial flurry of goals quickly dried up during the forward’s poorest campaign to date.

It was a bad season for everyone connected with the Old Trafford giants but the appointment of Ten Hag has brought new optimism to both club and player.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Marcus Rashford during a press conference at AAMI Park in Melbourne
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Marcus Rashford during a press conference at AAMI Park in Melbourne (Simon Peach/PA)

“I think we can do a lot together,” Rashford said. “For me, it’s a fresh start and something I am looking forward to.

“The first two and a half weeks of training have been good. We’ve improved a lot, we’re a lot fitter than we were last season.

“And also we’re making mistakes along the way, so we have a lot of room for improvement.

“I’m in a good place right now and I’m just looking forward to getting more games under my belt and get ready for the season.”

The forward is enjoying the demanding work set by Ten Hag and his coaches after a rare summer break that he hopes will help him to regain form.

“It’s been a bit unnatural for me to have such a long break in the summer,” Rashford said in Melbourne.

“I think I had just under four weeks, so I had a long break physically and mentally as well so it’s an opportunity to refresh and get ready to go again.

“It’s always the case with a new season, whether you win or lose, so I just use that opportunity to do what I’ve always done and just refocus.

“This is my first year where I have been with the team from the beginning (of pre-season).

“And, to be honest, I already feel a lot better than usually when you go on internationals and you come back midway through the pre-season.

Marcus Rashford last played for England in the Euro 2020 final
Marcus Rashford last played for England in the Euro 2020 final (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s important for me to get a fresh start and I have been given that opportunity, so, yeah, I feel fresh and I feel ready.”

Rashford’s struggles have been well-documented and he admits “it is a lot easier to come back and improve when you make mistakes in a winning team”.

That was not the case last season but the England forward, who has not played for his country since the Euros final, knows they have to do more than that.

“We just have to work really hard to improve and the first game of the season is the first opportunity that we have.

“We do all this hard work now and try and win as many games as we can in pre-season, and then when it comes to the first game of the season we’re ready to give everything.”

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