(Reuters) – Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said he is eyeing up a fresh start at Old Trafford under new manager Erik ten Hag after a disappointing campaign last season.
Rashford missed the start of the campaign after a shoulder injury and struggled for form and consistency, scoring four Premier League goals in 25 appearances as United finished sixth in the standings under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The 24-year-old has also lost his place in the England team. He has not played for Gareth Southgate’s side since the European Championship final loss to Italy last year.
“For me it is a fresh start, something I am looking forward to,” Rashford told reporters on Thursday before United’s pre-season friendly against Melbourne Victory. “It has not been natural to have a long break.
“This is my first year I have been with the team since the beginning (of pre-season). I feel a lot better than usual, when I go away with the nationals and come back part-way through pre-season.
“It is an opportunity to refresh. I am ready to go again. I have used the opportunity to do what I have always done and refocus.”
Rashford played 45 minutes in United’s 4-0 friendly win over Liverpool in Bangkok earlier this week in Ten Hag’s first match in charge.
United will face Melbourne Victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday and Rashford said Ten Hag has already had a positive impact on the team.
“The first two and a half weeks of training have been good. We have improved a lot. The team is a lot fitter than last season,” Rashford said.
“We have a lot of room for improvement. I am in a good place right now. I am looking forward to getting more games under my belt and getting ready for the season.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Christian Radnedge)