Erik ten Hag to 'deal' with Marcus Rashford's absence amid nightclub visit controversy (WATCH)
Erik ten Hag emphasized that he would address Marcus Rashford's absence following Manchester United's 4-2 victory at Newport in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag emphasized that he would address Marcus Rashford's absence following Manchester United's 4-2 victory against Newport in the FA Cup on Sunday. Rashford was notably missing from the fourth-round match in south Wales, with Ten Hag stating that the player had reported feeling unwell on Friday. However, reports circulating over the weekend indicated that Rashford had been spotted at a nightclub in Belfast on Thursday evening before failing to attend United's training session the following day.
"He reported ill," United boss Ten Hag said after United blew a two-goal lead before surviving their trip to fourth tier Newport.
"The rest is an internal matter. I deal with it, we will deal with it."
Upon his arrival at United, Ten Hag remarked on the presence of a "no good culture". Throughout his tenure at Old Trafford, he has grappled with disciplinary issues within the team. Jadon Sancho, United's winger, returned to Borussia Dortmund on loan recently following a fallout with the Dutch manager.
Additionally, Rashford faced consequences last season when he was excluded from a Premier League match against Wolves after arriving late to a team meeting due to oversleeping.
Pressed on his latest issue with Rashford, the Man United boss said, "I don't go in this case. We talked before about it, we played a good game, and now we move on."
United managed to score twice in the first half against opponents positioned 76 places below them in the pyramid, courtesy of goals from Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo.
However, Bryn Morris and Will Evans found the net on either side of half-time, putting United at risk of a humiliating defeat.
In the final stages, Antony and Rasmus Hojlund scored to salvage United's pride. Nonetheless, it was yet another disjointed performance in what has been a challenging season for Ten Hag.
"The first 35 minutes it was very dominant. We did not give the opponent any chance and should have been three, four, five-nil up," Ten Hag said.
"Out of nothing they score a goal and straight after half-time again. We have to be critical of bad defending in transition. Poor defending from the cross, it's 2-2, and they turned it around. But you see how resilient we are. We stayed calm, went back in our game, got the third and fourth goal, so job done," the Dutchman added.
Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, and Luke Shaw returned to the United starting lineup following their respective injuries, with Harry Maguire making a late cameo for his first appearance since December 12.
Ten Hag is optimistic that the comeback of these seasoned players can bolster a team currently positioned eighth in the Premier League and already out of the Champions League.
"I know the character from Licha (Martinez), Casemiro, Luke Shaw, (Raphael) Varane, Bruno, Antony, (Alejandro) Garnacho, Hojlund. All fighters," Ten Hag said.