Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has heaped praise on Marcus Rashford after he came off the bench to score the winning goal against Wolves.
Rashford was dropped to the bench for United’s trip to Molineux on Saturday afternoon.
The 25-year-old was not named in the starting XI due to an “internal disciplinary”, Ten Hag confirmed before kick-off.
Rashford is not the type of profile you would expect to be dropped following a disciplinary breach, and he certainly reacted well, scoring to put United into the top four for the first time under the Dutch manager.
And Ten Hag has said the England forward gave a “good reaction” after breaking “the rules”.
“It’s good after the decision, Rashford came in,” Ten Hag told BT Sport. “He was bright, he was lively and he scored a goal to give a good reaction. Everyone has to adhere to the rules and if you react like this, it is the right answer.
“We were not that good in the first half. In my opinion the second half was better. Fred was winning second balls and linking play when he came on.
“In the first half, you analyse the game but sometimes things do not work as expected. Wolves did not create many chances and we did but you have to be sharp.
“I was not happy at half time and I told them with this attitude they will not win this game and everyone had to give 10 per cent more.”
On Luke Shaw playing at centre-back ahead of club captain Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, Ten Hag added: “With him being left footed, that helps him playing on the left side. Wolves have speed on the wings and Luke Shaw can cover that.”
Rashford confirmed after the match that he was dropped to the bench after being late for a team meeting having overslept.
“Obviously it’s team rules,” he told BT Sport. I made a mistake. That can happen. I’m obviously disappointed not to play but I understand the decision and I’m happy we managed to win anyway.
“We draw a line under it and move on. I was a little bit late for a meeting. I overslept but it can happen.”
While United are into the Champions League places for the first time this season, Wolves will head into 2023 in the relegation zone.
New manager Julen Lopetegui said: “Yes, always when you lose, it is difficult. We don’t want to lose, we want to win the match. We showed that we are able to compete with any team but it was a pity.
On Wolves’ lack of goals, the Spaniard added: “I think that the goals are coming after good work and we are working as a team in and out of possession. Maybe we didn’t have the best decision making in the box. We had five or six good situations to damage them but we have good chances.
“The players have to believe in themselves. We have to have balanced thinking in the next match knowing that the only way is to keep working and to improve.”
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