Tuesday 22 May 2018

Mourinho backs Rashford to make World Cup impact

Marcus Rashford receives directions from Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho druing their recent Champions League tie at Sevilla. Photo: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images
Marcus Rashford receives directions from Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho druing their recent Champions League tie at Sevilla. Photo: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Mark Critchley

Jose Mourinho has challenged England manager Gareth Southgate to take Marcus Rashford to the World Cup if he "trusts" him, even if the Manchester United youngster is not playing regularly at club level.

Rashford is yet to make a league start for United in 2018, having last played from the off in the 2-2 draw with Burnley at Old Trafford on St Stephen's Day.

The 20-year-old's four league appearances since the turn of the year have all come from the bench and account for just 52 minutes of football, while Rashford was given just a quarter of an hour in last month's Champions League knockout meeting with Sevilla.

Southgate played Rashford in all but one of England's World Cup qualifiers and is understood to be concerned by his lack of regular minutes at club level.

Mourinho, however, compared the youngster's situation to that of United's second-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

"The main reassurance for (Rashford) is that he is always selected. There is not one single match when Marcus is not selected to start or to be on the bench," the United manager said. "You know, if the national coach trusts him, he selects him. It doesn't matter if he plays or doesn't play."

Mourinho added: "There are many examples of players who don't play for their clubs at all and they go to the national teams. You have the example of Romero, who is the second goalkeeper at Manchester United and the first goalkeeper for such an amazing football country like Argentina.

"In your own country, you have examples of players who play even without scoring a goal in the Premier League. So it's up to Gareth Southgate. If he trusts him, he selects him. It doesn't matter if he plays or if he doesn't play for Manchester United." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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