Rashford says Man Utd are now in a better position for top four race
Marcus Rashford believes Manchester United are now in a ‘stronger’ position ahead of their renewed push to secure Champions League football.
The Old Trafford outfit’s 11-game unbeaten run was brought to a halt in March due to the coronavirus crisis – but the three-month suspension has allowed injured players, including Rashford, to return to fitness.
And the 22-year-old also insists that he is finally fit and firing after being sidelined since January due to a back fracture.
There were concerns that the double stress fracture the young striker sustained in the FA Cup clash against Wolves would rule him out for the rest of the season.
But Rashford has confirmed he will relish the chance to take to the field after a lengthy wait, and has been pictured in full-contact training with his team-mates over recent days.
‘I think coming out of this lockdown we are in a much stronger position than we were going into it,’ Rashford told Stretty News.
‘I think we just need to take each game as it comes and not get too ahead of ourselves. We are working hard in training, gelling as a team with players coming back from injury, etc.
‘For me personally I felt I was having my best season to date before the injury hit so now I’m back fully fit I’m determined to push on.’
The return of Paul Pogba may also prove pivotal to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of a top four finish this season.
The World Cup winner has endured an injury-hit campaign, having missed every game since Boxing Day.
Pogba underwent ankle surgery in January, but football’s suspension has afforded the 27-year-old the time to recover and he will hope to win back a starting spot against Tottenham on June 19.
Solskjaer confident Man Utd are ready to continue from where they let off
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been encouraged by the competitive edge and camaraderie in his Manchester United squad as they prepare for the resumption of the Premier League season.
United are due to face Tottenham away on June 19 in their first match since beating LASK 5-0 in the Europa League on March 12.
The victory in Austria stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches and Solskjaer is confident they can continue where they left off.
‘The first game is two weeks from today so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again,’ Solskjaer told United’s official website.
‘Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused [against Tottenham].
‘We know it’s a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season so I’m confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football.’
After their clash against former manager Jose Mourinho’s side, United welcome fellow European hopefuls Sheffield United to Old Trafford on June 24 before travelling to Brighton on June 30 – after an FA Cup quarter-final at Norwich on June 27.
It is a hectic period of fixtures, but Solskjaer believes his side are ready for the challenge.
‘Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas, but hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown,’ the Norwegian added.
‘We’ve got games coming weekend, midweek, weekend for a spell so you have to focus on ourselves and not just on that one, first game.
‘I think everyone can see over the last few months how the players have behaved and dealt with the situation and how we as a club have dealt with it. The players have kept themselves fit as well, which has been great.
‘The weather was fantastic when they got going in small groups and gradually now, as we’ve got into contact training, you can see a little bit more of the edge but also the camaraderie and team bonding.
‘That’s vital for me in a team. That’s one of the main things, that we are a team and the team goes before anything else.’