Ralf Rangnick wants Marcus Rashford to emulate Jadon Sancho in search for best form

Ralf Rangnick has revealed that Manchester United are trying to counsel Marcus Rashford through his alarming slump in form with regular discussions and video analysis sessions as the interim manager warned his side there is no margin for error against Watford on Saturday.

Rashford is in the worst form of his career and watched his replacement Anthony Elanga come off the substitutes’ bench to score a precious equalizer in an unconvincing 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday .

The England forward has just two goals in his past 18 matches and was particularly poor against Atletico despite finally being injury free this season after a succession of back, shoulder and ankle problems over the last two years ago.

Jamie Carragher has claimed Rashford, whose body language and work rate have both come under scrutiny, does not deserve a place in United’s team at the moment and Rangnick admitted the 24-year-old could not be happy with his performances but that the club were trying to nurse him through his troubles.

“It’s with him like with all the other players, when it counts and they are on the pitch they just have to perform and I am pretty sure he is not happy with his performance right now,” Rangnick said.

“But it doesn’t help if we discuss that every week and talk about our thoughts about what it might be, is he not happy? I don’t see any reason why he should not be happy.

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“Right now he is trying to find his best possible shape and performance and we just try to give him helping hands with everything we can. We show him video footage, we speak with him regularly, in training he is in top form. That is why I decided to play him [against Atletico].

“Now it’s about having that transformation from training performance to the competition in the league and this is the next step he has to take. He is definitely not injured. He definitely has no issues with his shoulder from him any more. I have personally spoken a lot with him.”

Rangnick said he hoped Rashford would draw inspiration from Jadon Sancho, who has overcome a miserable start to life at Old Trafford to find form in recent weeks.

“We had a very similar situation as I can remember with Jadon six or seven weeks ago,” Rangnick said. “He is the best example of what can happen. Again it’s the player himself who has to perform and get the best out of his own performance and this is the same with Marcus.”

Rangnick has favored playing Sancho on the left and Rashford on the right, a position the latter has seldom looked comfortable in. But the German insisted that it was not a factor in Rashford’s struggles.

“For me this is not the major issue. They can play on the left or right side,” he said. “It’s about how proactive they play and in the first half against Atletico we were far too static and predictable and we made things far too easy for them to defend. We just have to be active, proactive and always on the move, make it hard for the other team to defend ourselves and this has nothing to do with if Marcus is playing on the left or right hand side.”

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With games against Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool to follow next month, Rangnick insisted the Watford match was a “must win” in their pursuit of the top four.

“This is a game that we have to win, we want to win, we need to win,” he said.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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