Marcus Rashford opens up on early Man Utd struggles and fears he ‘didn’t belong’ in team
Marcus Rashford has admitted he felt isolated initially in the Manchester United dressing room when he first broke into the team as a teenager. The United striker admits he was not ready to be thrust onto the bench for a Premier League game against Watford in November 2015.
And even when Louis van Gaal handed him his debut in February in the Champions League, he found it difficult to talk to his more illustrious team-mates.
Rashford, now 22, was talking to two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray on each of their respective Facebook channels, in a social media initiative that also involved the ATP Facebook page.
He told Murray, who had also just turned 18 when he made his Wimbledon debut: “A couple of months before my debut I was on the bench and at that moment I didn’t feel ready.
“I didn’t feel like I belonged in the first team. I wasn’t ready to play that game.
“At the beginning it’s just football, football, football and you rarely speak to your team mates a lot.
“But when you settle into the team you get to speak about other stuff. I knew that most of them had been through the experiences themselves.
“They’ve lived it and know how to deal with, so I definitely used to ask questions about what to do next.
“It’s what I should have done in that situation and it definitely helps me because now when I see the young players coming through I can sort of tell them now, sort of do’s and don’ts.
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“You always think about playing in the first team and scoring goals for United or at Old Trafford or any stadium, but you forget how your life can change overnight.
“Things that you can do with your friends, things that you can do with your family, the places you can go, it all changes and I probably wasn’t as prepared for that bit as I was the actual going on the pitch and playing.”
Rashford has now racked up 64 goals and 33 assists in 201 appearances for United, added to 10 goals in 38 caps for England, despite not turning 23 until October.
He added: “I can’t say I’ve ever really enjoyed the attention off the pitch.
“That’s one thing growing up as a footballer that you never think about.
“You always think about playing in the first team, scoring goals for United or at Old Trafford or any stadium, but you forget how your life can change overnight.
“Things that you can do with your friends and family, the places you can go.
“It all changes and I probably wasn’t as prepared for that bit as I was the actual going on the pitch and playing.
“So for me that bit was the easier bit. It obviously took a lot of hard work to get there but when the opportunity came up I felt ready to step up.”
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