Marcus Rashford needs "mental strength" says former-Manchester United coach René Meulensteen

The Dutch coach says the academy at United has the mentality of the Class of '92 ingrained in it and Rashford has benefited from that.

Marcus Rashford needs "mental strength" says former-Manchester United coach René Meulensteen
Rashford celebrates against West Ham in the Cup | Photo: Catherine Ivill/AMA - via Getty Images

Former-Manchester United coach René Meulensteen believes that Marcus Rashford has the potential to become a legend at the club.

Rashford's rise has been spectacular. Having only scored his first under-21 Premier League goal in December, the English striker has now scored at all levels for Manchester United, in three competitions. Most recently, he netted in the Reds' 3-1 victory against AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Rashford in England Euro 2016 provisional squad

England manager Roy Hodgson has selected Rashford in his 26-man provisional squad for Euro 2016 despite Rashford still being yet to play for the under-21 side. 

Meulensteen, who worked for United for eleven years over two spells, says that Rashford "needs that mental strength that will carry him on to sustained success."

The Dutch coach spoke exclusively to 888sport and said that he knows Rashford and "he's very solid and down to Earth so with experience he will only get better and better." 

Rashford nets United's second against Bournemouth | Photo: Tom Purslow/Manchester United
Rashford nets United's second against Bournemouth | Photo: Tom Purslow/Manchester United

Meulensteen says Rashford is 'down to Earth'

18-year-old Rashford has now contributed to 10 goals, scoring eight and assisting two, for United's first team. Meulensteen said that one of the first things he learned being at United "was how strong the commitment and drive and motivation was from Beckham, the Neville brothers, Giggs and Scholes." The reason they were so successful, being the heart of a treble-winning season in 1999 the highlight, was down to the fact that "they trained every day to get better and did so for over 10 years."

That same belief "is now ingrained in the academy" and Rashford has benefitted from that mentality, thinks Meulensteen. 

Rashford will play in the FA Cup Final for United against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening at Wembley. After that, he'll join the England senior squad to train, alongside teammates Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling, ahead of the European Championships in France. The expectation is that Rashford will be one of the three cut from the provisional squad for the final selection, but if he impresses in his debut, either against Australia or Portugal, Hodgson could pick him. Another possibility is that Daniel Sturridge is traditionally injury-prone and if he suffers another injury while training, Rashford could fill his place in the final squad.


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