Rashford relishes challenge of reeling in Man Utd’s rivals

LONDON (AFP) – Marcus Rashford said the task of reeling in Liverpool and Manchester City adds spice to Manchester United’s bid to re-establish themselves as Premier League title contenders.

United put together a nine-game unbeaten run in the league, which included six wins, after the coronavirus lockdown to pip Chelsea to third place at the end of last season.

But they finished 33 points behind Liverpool, who claimed their first league crown in 30 years, and 15 points adrift of City.

Rashford said chasing down their two rivals gave United added motivation.

“I think that’s natural for anyone who plays for the club or anyone who’s from Manchester,” he told the Press Association. “We have to use all that as motivation to keep improving as a team.

“But we can’t lose sight of what’s important, and that’s our own team’s development and to keep improving. You can find yourself sometimes looking too much elsewhere, but we play our best and we improve most when we concentrate on ourselves as individuals and as a team.”

United have only finished higher than they did last season once since they won their 20th title in 2012/13, when they were runners-up under Jose Mourinho two years ago.

Rashford is convinced they now have something to build on.

“It’s obviously a big step,” he said. “The lads worked hard and, for me, it’s what we deserved as a team.

“But we need to find that consistency, that’s the biggest thing for us. We have quite a young team.”