Marcus Rashford has doubted whether Manchester United would have beaten Kazakhstani outfit Astana two years ago, when they were under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.
United won their opening Europa League Group L game 1-0 at Old Trafford on Thursday night, with young forward Mason Greenwood grabbing the only goal with what was his first ever senior strike.
The minnows put up a spirited effort to keep out their storied hosts, and Rashford says he and his teammates may not have broken them down a couple of years ago.
“They were a tough team to break down but I think it shows, if I look back to two years ago I don’t think the team had the togetherness to come through a game like that,” said Rashford, via the Manchester Evening News .
“Because everyone expects it to be an easy game, but the opposition have come to win, so it’s always a tough game.”
Rashford himself missed several opportunities during the match, but his current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t concerned about his goalscoring form despite him netting just once from open play this season.
“He’s getting the chances,” said the Norwegian. “Of course he could have had three against Astana and the keeper made a few fantastic saves.
“I don’t worry about that (goalscoring form), no. We’re working every single day in training with Marcus.
“He wants to improve, he wants to be better. He could’ve finished with his left instead of his right for one chance. It was just one of those days.”
Solskjaer also responded to England manager Gareth Southgate’s recent claim that Rashford is better suited to wide role rather than at centre-forward.
“I think today’s forwards are different from old traditional No 9s,” he said. “There’re not many left of them.
“Marcus can play all four positions – right, left, up front on his own and as a 10. Anthony Martial can. Mason can. None are pinpointed to one position. You’ll see them rotated around.”