Marcus Rashford has described how a message from former manager Louis van Gaal has helped him deal with his rollercoaster year.
The 24-year-old was hampered by injury towards the end of last season but was still included in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad that reached the final.
Rashford missed a penalty in the shoot-out against Italy before going under the knife for a shoulder problem that saw him miss the beginning of this season.
The Dutch coach handed the Manchester United attacker his debut in 2016 but a piece of advice from the former Bayern Munich manager still has an impact.
“It’s been successful in many ways and not successful in other ways but there’s a balance,” he revealed to Sky Sports. “I think it was [Louis] Van Gaal who said this to me, ‘whether you win or lose it’s important to keep a balance. You can’t be too high when you win and can’t be too low when you lose. Otherwise, your emotions will be up and down.’
“The worst thing was going to the Euros after a discussion with the manager and not getting game time, then the incident that happened in the final – which can happen to anybody. It’s pretty simple for me after that Euros it was important for me to get into 100 per cent condition and that’s what I did.
“So now, I’m just looking forward to the future and hopefully getting more opportunities to be in big moments like the Euros.”
In recent months, there has been a change of guard with Ralf Rangnick’s introduction as interim head coach and as a result, Rashford has enjoyed successive starts in the wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich.
After missing the early stages of the campaign which coincided with his dip in form, the England international insists he is close to being back at his best.
He added: “Getting 90 minutes is key and that was my first 90 minutes against Norwich since I can’t remember, maybe May. I know how I am as a player, I need to know I can do 90 minutes and at a high intensity then from there, I can then go on to do better things.
“Now I’ve done that, I’m looking forward to the next couple of games, I feel sharper in training, still feeling strong.”
We’ve teamed up with LiveScore to invite fans to vote for their favourite results – the games which were much more than a score. Vote for the match that mattered to you here.