Rashford is good, but not a sure starter

Mourinho full of praise for match-winner Rashford but does that mean he's a sure starter?



(Marcus Rashford 90+2)

Marcus Rashford hit eight goals in 18 matches for Manchester United last season, despite having broken into the first team only in February.

And he went on to win a place in England's Euro 2016 squad.

But under the reign of new manager Jose Mourinho, the 18-year-old has been named as a substitute for all three of United's English Premier League matches this season and had not come on at all until yesterday's (Singapore time) game.

Mourinho has preferred new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack.

Despite Rashford's heroics in scoring the late winner against Hull, Mourinho tempered expectations by sending out a stark message - he said he would have to be careful about choosing when to put Rashford in his starting line-up.

Rashford replaced Juan Mata in the 71st minute and, with United looking set for a frustrating draw that would have halted their 100 per cent start in the EPL, he scored in the second minute of time added on.

Mourinho has clearly been impressed with what he has seen of Rashford, but insisted his striker's match-winning goal will make no difference as to how and when he will use him this season.

Jose Mourinho watching Manchester United intently on the sideline. PHOTO: AFP

"He's very good," Mourinho said.

"I know that he's very good since last season, but working with him every day I think the same.

"When the team were chasing the winner against Leicester in the Community Shield and again tonight, he made a difference for us.

"He gives new problems to the opposition, so I am really happy with him and the team.

"He's different than (Wayne) Rooney, he's different than Zlatan, so everybody is happy with him."


Rashford, who burst onto the scene last season under previous boss Louis van Gaal, would have thanked elder statesman Rooney for his winner.

Rooney ghosted round Hull full-back Ahmed Elmohamady before sending over an inch-perfect cross for Rashford to tap home from one metre.

Marcus Rashford scoring the last minute winner for Manchester United. PHOTO: REUTERS

"I have two weeks before the next match, I have to analyse the opponents and see the way my boys are coming back from the international games," Mourinho said.

"He can play but he can be on the bench, I don't know.

"I have to analyse. The important thing is that he's working very well. He's 18 years old.

"We are starting matches with a second man behind Zlatan, (but) we can start some matches with the player in front of Zlatan, so the kid is going to play a lot of matches for sure."

Mourinho believed his side were excellent value for their victory, but felt that they took too long to get going.

"I was telling them at half-time that they were more intensive and aggressive in training on Wednesday than they were in the first half," he said.

"The second half was like going to fight against an organised wall. We had an amazing mentality. We were very strong and tried to create problems for the opposition. We tried and tried and got it.

"We deserved it and in a more comfortable way. It is a great feeling when you win the points in the last minute."

Mourinho, whose side is level with his former club Chelsea at the top of the table after three straight league wins, revealed Marouane Fellaini could be sidelined after suffering a back injury.

Meanwhile, Hull caretaker boss Mike Phelan described his players as "magnificent" and said he hoped to resolve his own future with the club's prospective new owners after the transfer window closes on Wednesday.

The Tigers vice-chairman Ehab Allam revealed in his programme notes that this could be the club's last game with the Allam family as owners and he hoped a takeover deal with a Chinese consortium would be completed during the international break.

"Credit to my players, they performed heroically," Phelan said.

"This Man United team now are on a bit of a roll and they are strong, and strong in depth as well.

"You've got to be committed to what you do yourself and have some kind of identity and I thought the Hull City players today performed magnificently in all departments."

Hull are expected to complete the signing of goalkeeper David Marshall from Cardiff next week after the Welsh club confirmed they had accepted a bid.

Phelan had 14 fit senior players in his squad to face United and has yet to bring in any new players since the end of last season.

"We're hoping bids will be accepted by a lot of clubs," he said.

"We need players in here. We need to get cracking." - Wire Services.

I tell the boys every day we have to go into every match to win. We must not be happy with less than a win. We know we will draw or lose matches, but the mentality has to be that we have got to win. Today, they showed that.

— Man United manager Jose Mourinho



Marcus Rashford is the first teenager to score an English Premier League goal for a team managed by Jose Mourinho.


Manchester United have won their opening three games of an EPL season for the first time since 2011-12.


Rashford has now scored six goals in 12 EPL appearances.


Man United have now scored 90th-minute winners for the 18th time in a Premier League game, and the first time since November 2015 v Watford.

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