Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has explained why Marcus Rashford is making him happy with his performances on the field and attitude off it.
The England international had a conversation with his boss recently that greatly pleased Mourinho and has further convinced him that the forward has a “brilliant” future with the club.
Although Rashford has been an influential figure during the team’s fine run of form, he has been less prolific in front of goal than in his debut campaign but that comes of no surprise to his manager because the 19-year-old is no longer ‘the new kid in town’.
“I’m always happy with Marcus’s contribution,” said Mourinho, when speaking at his weekly press conference on Friday. “He’s one of these players that, when he is on the pitch, he tries. When he’s on the pitch, he gives you always something.
“I know that last season [there was] no pressure. I know that last season, in front of the goal, the goal was bigger. I know that this season the expectation is higher, the pressure is higher and the goal is shorter and he is missing some chances.
“He doesn’t score as many goals as he could because he has lots of playing time on the pitch but this is absolutely natural – the second year after a season of explosion and expectation, everything changes. He’s not any more the surprise kid, he’s a player that everybody respects, that everybody knows, that everybody knows the qualities and it’s normal that he’s in this period of transition where he’s still a kid but he’s not any more the new kid in town.
“So, I think next season will be very, very good for Marcus because this season is giving him a capital of experience at this level of responsibility, at this level of being a professional player for a club like Manchester United. So I’m really happy with Marcus.
“That’s why, every match since the beginning of the season, he’s there, [on the] bench or [in the] line-up or coming [on for the] last 20 minutes, or coming [on for the] last 30, or coming on for the last 10 – but, every match, he is there and he told me something the other day that made me really happy.
“He says that he is learning so much, even in tactical meetings, even in training sessions. He’s learning so much, so I think his future will be brilliant. He’s present, he’s good and we need him.”