New Manchester United assistant manager Steve McClaren has been open about his feelings regarding Marcus Rashford’s attitude, having questioned it earllier this year.
The club is already gearing up for the start of their pre-season preparations on June 27, with players who have not been on international duty reporting back to the club’s Carrington training base.
The beginning of pre-season will hopefully mark the beginning of a new era at Old Trafford, as new manager Erik Ten Hag hopes to turn the club’s fortunes around, alongside assistants Mitchell van der Gaag and McClaren.The players immediately involved will include Rashford, who had not been named in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad for the Three Lions’ crop of four UEFA Nations League fixtures.
McClaren will most likely be paying closely monitoring Rashford’s body language and attitude during pre-season as the former England manager was distinctly unimpressed with the academy graduate after his performance in United’s slender 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup third-round back in January.
“I hate that attitude in a player,” McClaren told talkSPORT, reflecting on Rashford’s showing against Steven Gerrard’s side.
“Body language is so, so important and that was the criticism of United players in the last few weeks, but Rashford has probably had this problem throughout his career in terms of questioning his attitude.
“He gets deterred too easily and doesn’t fight through bad moments. He doesn’t stay in the game. If he’s not having a good game, he’s not having a good game.
“If he’s not having a good first half, he’ll never have a good second half. I just look at him and think that boy needs help, off the field and through the manager.”
Rashford experienced a hugely disappointing 2021/22 campaign, scoring just five goals in 32 appearances in all competitions. He looked out-of-sorts for most of it, with genuine concerns, at times, being raised about his welfare. And for McClaren, Rashford needed to accept that he had an issue with his attitude.
McClaren added: “The help is there in modern football. He (Southgate) has brought in a sports psychologist. He (Rashford) has got the talent and the ability.
“There’s that one cornerstone which we call mentality, attitude, which he hasn’t grasped yet. There are certain tools with which you can come out of bad times, so you play one bad pass and don’t make it two or three.
“You get back to playing simple again. He’s brought in a sports psychologist but a player needs to admit first that he’s in the wrong, has a bad attitude and needs help.”