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GARETH South­gate be­lieves the only way Mar­cus Rash­ford is go­ing to im­prove for United is if he plays more reg­u­larly.

The Reds striker started for Eng­land against Spain on Satur­day night and while he scored, he missed two other big chances.

Rash­ford has started just one game for United this sea­son and will miss the next three af­ter his red card at Burn­ley – and South­gate thinks that im­pacted on his per­for­mance.

“The only way for him to im­prove is by play­ing. He knows we have real be­lief in him,” the Eng­land man- ●● ager said. “I think we also have to re­mem­ber his age and what he’s achieved in a short pe­riod of time.

“He’s got a tremen­dous men­tal­ity, he’s got great tal­ent, we think he’s got ev­ery­thing to go on and be a top player and I’m sure he’ll do that.”

Rash­ford scored for Eng­land af­ter a great as­sist from United team-mate Luke Shaw, but also missed two good chances dur­ing his per­for­mance at Wem­b­ley.

And South­gate was ea­ger to praise Rash­ford for his goal rather than be­rate him for the chances he missed.

“I’d rather fo­cus on the fact he got his goal, which was re­ally well taken. Good save from the header. And he’s in the right po­si­tion to try and fin­ish the next one,” South­gate said.

“As he gets more ex­pe­ri­ence and con­fi­dence in those sit­u­a­tions, he’ll fin­ish them.

“He’s a player that in this pe­riod we def­i­nitely wanted to in­vest time in - that’s why we started Gomez and Rash­ford and Shaw.

“He’s scored a goal and was in the penalty box more. At times, his pre­vi­ous goals have come out­side the box.

“We know he can hit things, we’ve been en­cour­ag­ing him to get higher up the pitch, not drop quite as deep and he got his re­ward for that.”

Jor­dan Hen­der­son is also con­fi­dent Wythen- shawe lad Rash­ford can con­tinue mak­ing strides with Eng­land, and help fill the void left by Jamie Vardy.

“We know how ta­lented Mar­cus is,” said the Liver­pool mid­fielder.

“His was a great fin­ish. He had an­other one or two chances that maybe ●● he would have liked to have scored, but I thought he looked sharp.

“He was lively and he’s al­ways a threat on the counter-at­tack.

“He’s a fan­tas­tic young player so he just needs to keep learn­ing, keep im­prov­ing. He’s a big part of our team.” ●●

David de Gea saves a Mar­cus Rashord shot in the Eng­land-Spain game on Satur­day

Mar­cus Rash­ford ap­pears to be en­joy­ing Eng­land train­ing

Gareth South­gate

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