RASH­FORD: WE’RE BET­TER THAN THIS

‘WE’RE ONLY SHOW­ING HALF OF WHAT WE CAN DO...’

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By TY­RONE MAR­SHALL

MAR­CUS Rash­ford in­sists United have only shown half of what they’re ca­pa­ble of this sea­son af­ter an­other wretched night ended in a derby de­feat.

The Reds’ hopes of reach­ing the Carabao Cup fi­nal lay in tat­ters af­ter a 3-1 de­feat to City at Old Traf­ford, but the dam­age could have been worse with­out Rash­ford’s goal in the sec­ond half.

The Blues had raced into a 3-0 lead at the break and threat­ened to turn the tie into a hu­mil­i­a­tion.

Rash­ford helped United save some face in the sec­ond half, but it won’t be enough to stop an­other bar­rage of crit­i­cism be­ing di­rected at the play­ers and Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer.

The Reds’ re­turn of 31 points from 21 games is their worst record at this stage of a sea­son in the Premier League era, but the for­ward be­lieves there is plenty more to come from this team.

“No­body wants to lose. No­body started play­ing foot­ball to lose games. I don’t think that’s the prob­lem,” he said.

“I think ev­ery­one knows that we want to win and that the team is fight­ing.

“We have to con­tinue to do that. Ev­ery­thing can im­prove a lot.

“We’re prob­a­bly only show­ing half of what we can do as a team. We need to keep fight­ing to find that ex­tra per­cent­age that will win us games.”

Rash­ford’s goal was the 17th of his most pro­duc­tive sea­son yet for the club, but he in­sisted it was down to the saves made by David de Gea, rather than his own ef­forts, that United will travel across the city with some hope on Jan­uary 29.

That didn’t look likely at half-time when City were threat­en­ing to run riot at Old Traf­ford once again.

“We were way off the tempo. They changed a lit­tle bit and brought more play­ers deeper than the last time we played against them. On the pitch we have to adapt,” Rash­ford ex­plained of that first-half per­for­mance.

“We have to try to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter than the way we did.

“The first has wasn’t a Man United per­for­mance but the sec­ond half we showed char­ac­ter and courage and it was more like us.

“Un­til they scored the first goal we were in the game. “Those key mo­ments, we have to learn to con­trol them bet­ter than we have done this sea­son.

“It’s a learn­ing curve for us. We’ll learn from it but it’s not go­ing to keep us down.” United over­turned a two-goal de­feat at home in the first leg of a two-legged tie last sea­son, with

Mar­cus Rash­ford I think ev­ery­one knows that we want to win and that the team is fight­ing

Rash­ford scor­ing the last-minute win­ner against Paris Saint-Ger­main in the French cap­i­tal.

He be­lieves a re­peat is ‘doable’ if the Reds can con­tinue to show the char­ac­ter that sal­vaged some pride on Tues­day night and helped them to that as­ton­ish­ing vic­tory in Paris 11 months ago.

But that night marked the end of Sol­sk­jaer’s hon­ey­moon pe­riod and it’s been hard go­ing for United ever since, as their record this sea­son demon­strates.

On a per­sonal level it was a proud night for Wythen­shawe-born Rash­ford, who cap­tained his boy­hood club for the first time on the oc­ca­sion of his 199th United ap­pear­ance.

In do­ing so he be­came the sev­enth player to cap­tain the Reds al­ready this sea­son, but he could yet emerge as one of the most con­vinc­ing long-term can­di­dates for the role in this squad, in­sist­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity of be­ing cap­tain hadn’t changed him and that the most im­por­tant as­pect of play­ing for United is to do the club jus­tice.

“Whether you have the arm­band or not you have to put that re­spon­si­bil­ity on your own shoul­ders and try to show your­self as a Man United player.

“In the first half we didn’t do that but in the sec­ond half, we did,” Rash­ford said.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a proud mo­ment but for me and the other play­ers it’s the re­sult that mat­ters.

“It’s one I’ll prob­a­bly look back on as a nice mo­ment but for now it’s not some­thing that’s on my mind.”

Mar­cus Rash­ford gave United a slim hope of reach­ing the fi­nal with his goal against City

Mar­cus Rash­ford be­lieves United are nowhere near play­ing to their full po­ten­tial

Mar­cus Rash­ford cel­e­brates his win­ner against PSG last year

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