Ten Hag set to ‘deal’ with Rashford absence after nightclub report

Erik ten Hag emphasized that he will address Marcus Rashford’s absence following the Manchester United star’s non-participation in Sunday’s 4-2 victory against Newport in the FA Cup.

Ten Hag stated that Rashford was not available for the fourth-round match in Wales, citing illness reported on Friday. However, weekend reports suggested that the English forward had been spotted at a Belfast nightclub on Thursday night, preceding his absence from United’s training session the next day.

“Marcus reported feeling unwell,” stated United’s manager Ten Hag in response to questions after the team’s comeback victory against Newport, where they initially had a two-goal lead slip away.

“The remainder of the situation is internal. I will address it, and we will handle it accordingly.”

When Erik ten Hag arrived at Manchester United, he found a “no good culture” and has since faced disciplinary challenges during his time at Old Trafford.

United’s winger Jadon Sancho departed earlier this month, returning to Borussia Dortmund on loan following a disagreement with the Dutch manager.

Last season, Rashford was omitted from a Premier League match against Wolves after arriving late to a team meeting due to oversleeping. When questioned about the recent issue involving Rashford, Ten Hag declined to delve into specifics, stating, “I don’t delve into this matter. We’ve discussed it previously, we had a solid game, and now we look forward.” United managed to secure victory against opponents ranked 76 places below them in the pyramid, with Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo finding the net in the first half.

However, goals from Bryn Morris and Will Evans on either side of halftime put United at risk of a humiliating defeat. Late strikes from Antony and Rasmus Hojlund ultimately spared United’s blushes, but it was another disjointed performance in what has been a challenging season for Ten Hag. “The first 35 minutes were very dominant. We didn’t give the opponents any chances and should have been three, four, or five-nil up,” remarked Ten Hag.

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“However, they scored out of nowhere, and then again straight after halftime.

“We need to critique ourselves for the poor defending in transition and the goal conceded from the cross, resulting in it being 2-2 and them turning the game around.

“But our resilience showed. We remained composed, stuck to our game plan, and managed to secure the third and fourth goals, so mission accomplished.” Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, and Luke Shaw returned to the United starting lineup following their recovery from injury, with Harry Maguire making a late appearance for the first time since December 12.

Ten Hag expressed hope that the return of these experienced players would bolster a team currently sitting eighth in the Premier League and having been knocked out of the Champions League. “I know the character of players like Licha (Martinez), Casemiro, Luke Shaw, (Raphael) Varane, Bruno, Antony, (Alejandro) Garnacho, and Hojlund. They are all fighters,” noted Ten Hag.

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