Football

FA Cup Final Preview: Erik Ten Hag Backs Marcus Rashford To Use England Omission As 'Fuel' Against Manchester City

Rashford was omitted from Gareth Southgate's provisional 33-man squad for the upcoming European Championship this week, following a disappointing season in which he has scored just eight goals

Rashford was left out of England's Euro 2024 squad
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Erik ten Hag urged a "highly motivated" Marcus Rashford to use his England disappointment as "fuel" ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final. (More Football News)

Rashford was omitted from Gareth Southgate's provisional 33-man squad for the upcoming European Championship this week, following a disappointing season in which he has scored just eight goals.

The forward struck 30 times during the 2022-23 campaign, but has struggled to build on that momentum this term.

Rashford will hope to feature at Wembley as United face rivals Manchester City in a repeat of last year's final, needing to win to ensure they do not miss out on European football for the first time in 10 years.

And Ten Hag is backing the 26-year-old to respond to his setback in a positive manner.

"He looks good," the United head coach said. "A career has ups and downs, and a down can also give you fuel and that is what I see in training.

"So, he will be highly motivated. He is very talented and already has a big career, and I am sure he will get over this and make even more goals."

One of Rashford's finer moments of the season came against City when he opened the scoring with a stunning 25-yard strike in a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad in March.

Two months on - and at the conclusion of a difficult season blighted by injuries to several key players - Ten Hag believes United are in a stronger position to compete with their rivals.

"At the Etihad, we were very good in the game for 70 minutes, and had opportunities to go ahead," the Dutchman added. 

"They could substitute, but we didn't have the players on the bench. That is a big difference. On Saturday, we will have a bench and will have a much stronger side."

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