Manchester United’s pre-season training began this week, with the players who’ve had international games joining on Monday, and Marcus Rashford has been very impressed with the work Erik ten Hag has planned for the squad.
Speaking with the club’s official website,
It has been tough, but we have all enjoyed the training sessions and we are mixing it up as well. We are not just doing all football and all running, we are doing a little bit of both so it’s fun and it’s good signs looking forward. He is very detailed out on the grass and even in the rules of each game. Like I said, it is all fresh and when something is fresh it is good for the mind and good for the body, so we are all looking forward to working with him and hopefully we continue to improve. That is the main thing that we want to do.
We have got that feeling of excitement and that buzz around the training ground again and so it is definitely positive going into pre-season. It is just about, one, getting the principles right of how Erik wants us to play and the details, and, two, enjoying it. In the first week of training we have done both and everyone is looking forward to going on the tour and putting what we have done in training into the first games.
It is a fresh start for everyone and for me personally I have had quite a long break, a nice camp before coming back into training, and how we are starting off on the right foot. Like I said, everyone is looking forward to pre-season now and going out to try to put into the games what we have learned in training so far, and what we will continue to learn, not only in the pre-season but throughout the season as well.
Lots of young players have been involved in first team training this week, with the hope of getting a place on the pre-season tour, and Rashford has reflected on his early days in the club and what it means for the youngsters to play with the older lads.
I was gutted when I was 17 and I missed out on the tour because I had a back injury. Honestly, when you know that you are being involved in the first team and you have got a chance to go on the tour, it’s a massive opportunity. It’s a period to be around the first team every day, training with us every day, play games with us and get minutes under your belt. And that can really trigger something for you in your career and, for me, it was mentally the steps that I took forward when I first starting training and playing with the first team. It was huge. It is something that you can’t take for granted. Hopefully some of them get the opportunity to come with us and play some minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them started the season with us as well because they have all started training well, they have all come back in good condition, so there are only positive things I can say really. Everyone is giving 100 per cent, which is the main thing at this stage of the season, and it is probably going to take another week and a half until we are all really fit and raring to go. In these periods when it is tough, when you are doing your first sets of runs, all of the lads have been doing that and I think the young lads have done well. The first team lads have set a good example, so hopefully they get an opportunity to come on the tour and play some games.
Rashford had a poor campaign last season, on the back of the Euros last summer and shoulder surgery, so is looking forward to getting a proper pre-season under his belt with the hope of better form to follow.
I don’t think I have had a proper pre-season since 2019 so for me it is definitely a positive thing. I feel like I probably needed that time to switch off a little bit and me having that time enabled me to refocus a lot earlier than I expected to be honest. It [the break] was just a few days over four weeks and I always split it in half, so I had two weeks when I was just relaxing and a little over two weeks when I was training so it’s been a good period for me. Like I say, I feel ready and focused so when that first game does come it’s good to know you have done almost six weeks of training beforehand. It will definitely be a positive.