Marcus Rashford responds to England’s boo-boys after uninspiring draw with U.S.A and says i t’s ‘not always possible to play at your best’ – but he believes he is on his way back to his own best after putting injury hell behind him
Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford has leapt to the defence of his team-mates – saying expectations that they will always hit the lofty heights they did against Iran were unrealistic.
Rashford, speaking ahead of England’s crunch Group B clash with Wales, defended their record in the face of mounting criticism over what many perceive to be an inability to get the most out of the squad’s rich array of attacking talent.
The forward told reporters at his press conference that football was not as easy as simply playing your best and winning, stressing the need to be able to execute your skills when not at your best.
Marcus Rashford responded to England’s boo-boys – saying they canno be expected to not have a flutter
‘As players, we always want to play our best football. You can’t always play your best football.
‘You have to learn to win games when you’re not playing well, because it’s not realistic to think you’re always going to be the best team or the best player.’
He added: ‘Obviously we’re not happy with how we performed in the last game, we know we can do better, but at the same time we’re in a strong position in the group.
‘It’s not often teams win all three games. If we can beat Wales then it will considered a good start.’
Rashford went on to add that he himself is enjoying his football again after a number of years plagued by niggling injuries.
The Manchester United forward was quizzed on a number of topics – not least being back among Gareth Southgate’s first choice options going forward
‘I’m happy to be enjoying my football. I’m not struggling with any injuries or niggles. I can only be thankful for that. It’s been good for me to meet up with the lads again after being away for such a long time,’ he said.
‘I feel I’m now closer than I was in the last year or 18 months. I’m still working towards it but I’m pleased with the steps I’ve made so far.
‘A lot of it is linked to my injuries but it just comes down to happiness. I’ve managed to now put it all behind me after the surgery.’
Rashford, like his teammates, struggled to grab the game by the scruff of the neck with the United forward proving somewhat ineffettual
Meanwhile, Rashford, who made his first appearance for England since missing a penalty in last year’s European Chmpionship final condemned the abuse he – along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – suffered.
‘It’s not good for you to go through racism as an individual, but it’s not good to see anybody go through it,’ he said.
‘So it’s more just disappointment. You’re disappointed in the fact that people have views like that.
‘Partly, because you don’t have those views about anybody else regardless of their race and religion. It’s more the disappointment that people hold these thoughts, beyond them actually saying them.’