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Erik ten Hag clarifies Marcus Rashford’s availability vs Fulham after ‘unacceptable’ party



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Erik ten Hag has blasted Marcus Rashford’s antics after the Manchester derby as ‘unacceptable’ but stresses the Manchester United forward is still ‘very motivated’ to turn things around at Old Trafford.

Rashford, now 26, was pictured at a party in the evening after United lost 3-0 against Manchester City last week.

The night was to celebrate his birthday and was in a private area of the nightclub, and lasted until 3:30 am, and it was unclear if the forward stayed out that long.

Whilst he reportedly turned up to training the next day on time, Ten Hag has since explained that he spoke with the player afterwards.

“Yes, I am aware of it,” said the manager. “I spoke with him about it. It is unacceptable. I told him, he apologised and that’s it. No further words, it is an internal matter.”

The Dutch manager has been strict in his approach at Old Trafford since taking over and even dropped Rashford for a game against Wolves last term, whilst he was in incredible form, because he was late for a pre-match meeting.

The likes of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo have also been punished for their off-field actions under the manager.

However, this time around, Ten Hag has squashed suggestions that this instance means that Rashford is not matching his standards.

“I think your suggestion is not right. He is fitting in. He is very motivated to put things right. I know how much effort he is putting in. He is totally with us,” added Ten Hag.

“So he makes a mistake but it doesn’t say he [is not] fitting in. I see him every day what he is doing. I know. He makes one mistake but also off the pitch what he is doing. How he lives, I am sure he is doing everything right to help the team and to perform and let us win.”

With an important game against Fulham coming on Saturday, Ten Hag will not be needing any extra off-field issues. Since he has previously dropped players, and Rashford himself, for breaking the rules, there was a question on whether he would play at Craven Cottage.

When queried on that, Ten Hag simply responded: “He is available.”

Rashford has just one goal so far this season but the United manager believes he will turn things around. In particular, Ten Hag is aiming to get the forward closer to the goal in different situations.

“It is not our intention to position him lower or deeper on the pitch. He has to be as close as possible to the opponents’ goal because they are his qualities.

“So for us [he is] so important and he will so much contribute to our success. So we have to get him there as a team and, as an individual, he also has to make his movements to arrive in the right moments. So [it’s about] his timing, and I am sure it will be back.”