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Roy Keane on Marcus Rashford: Penny dropped with Man Utd’s ‘sleek, fighting machine’ | Football news

Marcus Rashford looks like a “skinny, fighting machine” according to Roy Keane, who praised the striker for taking responsibility after a 10th goal in 10 games.

The rich form of Marcus Rashford

Manchester United took full control of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest with a 3-0 win in the first leg at the City Ground, Rashford opened the scoring with a fine solo run that spoke volumes about the England striker’s current confidence .

Keane said: “We were on the pitch when the players came out and he looked thin. You wouldn’t want to play against him – all the best.

“He looks like a skinny fighting machine.

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Marcus Rashford put Manchester United ahead against Nottingham Forest after a brilliant solo run to finish at the near post

“Sometimes it’s about confidence – that’s where he’s peaking now. He’s played a lot of games for United in recent years and big games for England.”

“Sometimes the penny drops with a player when it comes to making decisions and putting the ball in the back of the net. And they needed it.”

“The question mark I’ve had about Marcus over the years is, does he have that personality to perform?

“United have had some great strikers over the years and I think they need someone like that. Marcus has to say he wants that responsibility to be the main man. The best players come out week in, week out. It seems out that he’s now enjoying that responsibility, which is great to see.”

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Highlights from the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United

When asked if Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has helped Rashford’s confidence, Keane replied: “If a player leaves the club, the responsibility goes to another player.

“He’s 25, not a kid, sometimes when the timing is right you can be ready for that. He’s no longer suffering from the gnawing injuries to his groin, he seems to have cleared it up. He looks great mentally, too , which is huge. He said he felt he was taking too much distance from football – and being a top footballer is hard enough.

“So putting the other things on the back burner and focusing on being a top player for Manchester United has got his priorities right.”

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Marcus Rashford put Manchester United ahead against Nottingham Forest after a brilliant solo run to finish at the near post

Michael Dawson added to Sky Sports: “His best position is left wide, but since Erik ten Hag has been in it, he has done everything to get him back to his best level.

“He was disappointing last year and struggled with form. What I see now is a completely different player, fearless and confident. He doesn’t play it safe and is immediately with the ball at his feet.”

“If he loses it, he has the aura where it doesn’t seem to bother him.”

Ten Hag: In this mood, Rashford is unstoppable

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Erik ten Hag says he is happy with Manchester United’s performance in their 3-0 win against Nottingham Forest, but insists there is still room for improvement ahead of the second leg

Rashford’s return to his best level this season coincided with the appointment of Erik ten Hag, who could lead United to a first trophy in five seasons in his first year in office.

Asked if anyone in the country is playing better than Rashford, Ten Hag said: “Other players are playing well but I’m happy with Marcus. His performance and his development since the start of the season has been growing and he continues to do so. We have to , and of course he is also responsible for that, keeping that process going.

“In this mood and this spirit I think he is unstoppable. Then it’s about getting the team in the right positions.

“In possession we have a plan. But it’s also about intuition and the creativity of individuals like Rashford to create chances.

“When you have players like Rashford, like Bruno, like Antony, like [Anthony] Martial, and like Christian Eriksen, don’t forget him, [who can] be creative in the last third and do something unexpected, crazy stuff, it also gives the team some fantasy and adventure.”

Ten Hag also downplayed any concerns about Rashford’s withdrawal in the 57th minute.

That’s what the United boss said Sky Sports: “We played a lot of games, Marcus played his game, did his job, scored another goal, we were winning, in a good position and Garnacho is really hungry to play games, score minutes and also to be in the team to come.

“Yes, we have to play one (more) game. We have to do the same, prepare and make a good plan. The players have to be focused.”

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