The difference maker: Jose Mourinho delighted with contribution of Hull City goal hero Marcus Rashford
The 18-year-old has been named as a substitute for all three of Manchester United’s Premier League matches so far this season and had not come on at all until Saturday’s game at the KCOM Stadium
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes that Marcus Rashford is proving his value to the side after the young striker scored the late goal that defeated Hull City on Saturday.
Rashford hit eight goals in 18 matches for United last season, having broken into the first team in February, and went on to win a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad.
However, the 18-year-old has been named as a substitute for all three of his club’s Premier League matches so far this season and had not come on at all until Saturday’s game, with Mourinho preferring new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack.
Rashford has also dropped down to the England Under-21 squad, for whom he has been selected for a Euro 2017 qualifier against Norway on September 6.
In his news conference on Friday, Mourinho was quick to state that the teenager will get chances to play across all competitions this season.
The manager was full of praise of Rashford once more after he converted Wayne Rooney’s cross two minutes into stoppage time to give United a 1-0 victory in torrential rain at the KCOM Stadium.
3 points! Fans were great pic.twitter.com/MMNHIe9Td2
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) August 27, 2016
“Marcus Rashford has a lot of chances waiting for him,” Mourinho said after the youngster came on for Juan Mata in the 71st minute to make the difference.
“When the team was chasing the ball against Leicester in the Community Shield and again tonight, he made a difference for us.
“He gives new problems to the opposition so I am really happy with him and the team. Even defensively, we controlled their counterattack.”
Mourinho believed his side were excellent value for their victory, but felt that they took too long to get going.
“I was telling them at half-time that they were more intensive and aggressive in training on Wednesday than they were in the first half,” he said.
“The boys were very strong and the second half was like going to fight against a wall. We had an amazing mentality.
“We were very strong and tried to create problems for the opposition. We tried and tried and got it.
“We deserved it and in a more comfortable way. It is a great feeling when you win the points in the last minute.
“I tell the boys every day we have to go into every match to win. We must not be happy with less than a win. We know we will draw or lose matches but the mentality has to be go to win. Today they showed that.”
One setback for United was a back injury to midfielder Marouane Fellaini, which makes him a doubt for Belgium’s World Cup qualifier in Cyprus in September 6.
Hull caretaker manager Mike Phelan praised the efforts of his players, and called for a quick conclusion to the club’s takeover saga.
Sale imminent: Hull vice-chairman confirms deal with China pair to sell Premier league club will soon be finalised
Ehab Allam, one of Hull’s owners, indicated in the match programme that a deal has been agreed to sell the club, without confirming the buyers, who are believed to be a Chinese consortium led by commercial property investors Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li.
Phelan’s future remains uncertain, as the new owners may well want to appoint someone else as a permanent replacement for Steve Bruce, who resigned as manager in July.
“It’s important now that some decisions are made,” Phelan said. “There seems to be not just one group, but two groups interested.
“My future will be decided after the transfer deadline. There’s a lot of effort to get this takeover over the line.
“Credit to my players tonight, they performed heroically. I feel for them.
“This United team is on a roll and there are some teams you take on and some teams you need to be careful with. We tried to get at them a bit and we just ran out of steam.”
Phelan added that midfielder Robert Snodgrass, who went off injured early in the second half, had suffered a calf problem.