Man United: Ten Hag criticises Marcus Rashford for ‘unacceptable’ birthday celebrations

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has slammed Marcus Rashford for partying at a nightclub until the early hours in the aftermath of last Sunday’s crushing defeat to Manchester City.

The Red Devils were beaten 3-0 at Old Trafford in another bruising Manchester derby to extend their miserable run to open the 2023/24 season.

Later that evening, Rashford – who turned 26 on Tuesday – was seen at a nightclub in the city’s Chinatown district. Despite staying until morning, he did report to United training.

Ten Hag was asked about Rashford’s antics at a press conference on Friday and admitted that while the forward’s conduct was ‘unacceptable’, it was not a topic he wished to discuss at length.

“Yes I am aware of it, I spoke with him about it. It is unacceptable. I told them, he apologised and that is it. It is an internal matter,” Ten Hag said.

Rashford scored a career-high 30 goals in all competitions for United last season, but after signing a new long-term contract over the summer, he has struggled to maintain that form and has found the net just once in 14 games at club level so far this term.

Ten Hag played down suggestions that Rashford is lacking motivation and instead put his struggles down to his positioning.

“He is fitting in and he is very motivated to put things right,” Ten Hag added. “I know how much effort he is putting in. He is totally with us. He made a mistake but that doesn’t say he is not fitting in. I see him everyday in training with what he is doing and I know. 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 to help us win.

“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’ goals because they are his qualities, he is so important for us and contributed to our success. So we have to get him there as a team and as an individual he has to make his movements to arrive in the right moments with his timing. I am sure he will be back.”

What we know

  • Marcus Rashford went to nightclub after defeat in Manchester derby on Sunday
  • Forward has scored once in 14 games this season
  • Erik ten Hag was critical of Rashford’s conduct.

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