Erik ten Hag has branded Marcus Rashford’s behaviour as “unacceptable” for hosting a birthday party hours after Man United’s humiliating derby defeat.
United were demolished 3-0 at Old Trafford by Manchester City to compound their woeful start to the season, which has left them in eighth place in the Premier League. Despite the defeat, Rashford pushed ahead with a 26th birthday bash that night at Manchester nightclub Chinawhite, with the party said to have gone on until the early hours.
Ten Hag revealed he has had strong words with Rashford for holding the party the night of the derby debacle and said the England striker had apologised for his poor judgment. Asked about the party, Ten Hag said: “Yes, I’m aware of it. I spoke with him about it”.
“It’s unacceptable. I told him. He apologized and that’s it. For us, it’s an internal matter. He’s fitting in, he’s very motivated to put things right. I know how much effort he is putting in. He’s totally with us. So he makes a mistake, but that doesn’t mean he’s not fitting in”.
“I see him every day in training, what he’s doing, so I know. He makes one mistake but also, off the pitch, I see what he’s doing, how he lives and I’m sure he’s doing everything right to help the team and to perform and to let us win.”
Rashford is available for selection for Saturday’s lunchtime gaasme at Fulham, which is a must-win for Ten Hag after successive 3-0 home defeats. Marco Silva’s side are 14th in the Premier League table after winning just three of their first 10 league games.
United have made their worst start to a season for 61 years, with eight defeats in 15 games. They’ve suffered home defeats to Brighton, Crystal Palace and now City in the Premier League, while Galatasaray won at Old Trafford in the Champions League.
The Red Devils were also dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Newcastle on Wednesday, as Eddie Howe’s side won 3-0 at Old Trafford. Although United are struggling, Ten Hag is confident he can guide the team through their tricky patch amid sack talk.
Ten Hag said: “Sometimes you have difficult periods but when you stick together – and we are together – then you come through those difficult periods.”
Ten Hag was also asked whether the structure on the football side at United was right for the club to be a success, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe close to buying a 25 per cent stake in the club. The British billionare is expected to take charge of football operations once the deal is completed. Ten Hag said: “I wouldn’t work here if I thought it wasn’t right.”