Mourinho defends use of Rashford and attacks pundits

Tanya Simon
September 14, 2018

When pressed to identify them, he said: "It's the people that call me and ask me to fall at Wembley because they need news from me".

'In the season 16-17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches and 11 Europa League matches including the final.

Since the start of the 2016-17 season, 20-year-old Rashford has played 5,866 minutes in all competitions.

"In 2017-18, he played 35 matches in the Premier League, eight in the Champions League, five in the FA Cup, including the final, three LC matches and the European Super Cup".

The Portuguese coach then reeled off a stream of statistics detailing Rashford's 105 appearances in Mourinho's first two seasons in charge before pointedly suggesting other managers should be quizzed for their use of young English players.

Gareth Southgate has pinpointed Dominic Solanke as a solution to England's striker shortage, but is concerned about his lack of game time at Liverpool.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another of England's squad that advanced to the semi-finals of the World Cup struggling for minutes at Chelsea.

Rashford will definitely be missing when Mourinho's men travel to Watford on Saturday, though, as he begins a three-match ban after being sent-off against Burnley before the worldwide break.

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"So I can imagine on Sunday I am going to be criticised for not playing Marcus but it's not my fault, he's suspended, so probably you should remind them he is suspended and cannot play".

With the 25-year-old Romelu Lukaku the first-choice striker and Alexis Sanchez - signed from Arsenal in January - the first-choice left winger, Rashford has to make do with bit-part roles under United manager Jose Mourinho in competition with another overlooked young forward, Anthony Martial.

"Right now I am at Chelsea and my focus is at Chelsea and learning at Chelsea", said Loftus-Cheek.

But despite the ace clearly not being part of his manager's plans, Ed Woodward and the United money men want to keep him at the club.

"The ones that wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes into their mind is Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, I feel sorry for them".

Trying to dampen his frustration at not being a regular starter for his club was partly why Southgate played him in both of England's recent fixtures. He was never, never out of selection, so he knows and that's the most important thing.

"He is not going to give up trying to prove himself at United but he knows he may have a big decision to make soon".

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