Skip to content

Marcus Rashford absence from Man Utd squad 'an internal matter', says Erik ten Hag

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag explains why Marcus Rashford was left out of his squad to face Newport County; earlier reports suggested the forward was not well enough to play following illness and recovering at Carrington; Rashford was photographed out in Belfast earlier this week

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

'I'll deal with it' - Erik ten Hag is grilled over Marcus Rashford

Erik ten Hag promised to deal with the absence of Marcus Rashford after the England striker missed Manchester United's 4-2 FA Cup victory at Newport.

Rashford reported ill on Friday after reportedly spending the previous evening at a Belfast nightclub.

"He reported ill," United boss Ten Hag said after watching his side survive a massive fright in South Wales as League Two Newport fought back to 2-2 after conceding twice inside the opening 13 minutes.

"The rest is an internal matter. I deal with it, we will deal with it."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United are unable to make signings this month due to FFP, having suggested he would like to bring in forward reinforcements

Ten Hag said there was a "no good culture" when he arrived at United in 2022 and he has encountered disciplinary issues during his Old Trafford tenure.

United misfit Jadon Sancho returned to Borussia Dortmund on loan earlier this month after falling out with the Dutchman.

Asked if Rashford was another example of that "no good culture", Ten Hag said: "I don't go in this case. We talked before about it, we played a good game, and now we move on."

Also See:

Has Rashford been in trouble before this term?

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Roy Keane and Jamie Redknapp discuss Marcus Rashford's first goal at Old Trafford since May 2023 and his celebration, after he helped them to a 2-2 draw with Spurs

If Rashford has been punished for a disciplinary issue, it will be the second time in just over a year Ten Hag has dropped him. Rashford was left out of the Man Utd starting XI against Wolves on December 31, 2022 after arriving late to a team meeting, although he went on to score the winner in that match.

Rashford also had to apologise to Ten Hag earlier this season after having a birthday party just hours after United had lost 3-0 at home to local rivals Manchester City. "It is unacceptable," Ten Hag said at the time. "I told him, he apologised and that is it."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

As Marcus Rashford's off-field antics put him in the spotlight once again, we look at his contributions on the pitch, totalling just four club goals so far this season

Earlier this week, Ten Hag had spoken of being unable to sign a striker in the January transfer window due to FFP restrictions and noted how - with Anthony Martial injured - Rashford was an option for him through the middle.

"Of course, (Marcus) Rashford can play as a striker; we have some other alternatives and it's clear that Anthony is out for a couple of months it's a gap in our squad, clear."

Ten Hag praises Man Utd resilience

Erik ten Hag shakes hands with Harry Maguire
Image: Erik ten Hag shakes hands with Harry Maguire

United established early command against opponents 76 places below them in the pyramid, Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo - with his first senior goal - producing excellent strikes.

But Bryn Morris and Will Evans scored either side of half-time and United were in danger of becoming victims of a seismic giant-killing act before Antony and Rasmus Hojlund struck in the final quarter.

Ten Hag said: "The first 35 minutes it was very dominant. We did not give the opponent any chance and should have been three, four, five-nil up.

Altay Bayindir is beaten by Evans to make it 2-2
Image: Altay Bayindir is beaten by Evans to make it 2-2

"Out of nothing they score a goal and straight after half-time again. We have to be critical of bad defending in transition. Poor defending from the cross, it's 2-2, and they turned it around.

"But you see how resilient we are. We stayed calm, went back in our game, got the third and fourth goal, so job done."

Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw were all back in the starting line-up after injury, while Harry Maguire made a late cameo for his first appearance since December 12.

"I know the character from Licha (Martinez), Casemiro, Luke Shaw, (Raphael) Varane, Bruno, Antony, (Alejandro) Garnacho, Hojlund. All fighters," Ten Hag added.

"Sometimes you are in this situation. It was a bad pitch, but we totally dominated them for 35 minutes."

Coughlan: United were rattled at 2-2

Graham Coughlan reflects on an FA Cup classic
Image: Graham Coughlan reflects on an FA Cup classic

Newport belied their lowly standing of 16th place in the fourth tier with a committed performance sprinkled with some attacking moments of real quality.

Exiles boss Graham Coughlan revealed Ten Hag had given him "a nice little bottle of red wine" after the game, and admitted that he was contemplating a major upset after United had been pegged back.

Newport County's Will Evans celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup fourth round match at Rodney Parade, Newport. Picture date: Sunday January 28, 2024.
Image: Newport County's Will Evans celebrates scoring

Coughlan said: "I was dreaming at two-all. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb first 10 or 15 minutes.

"You can't start a football game like that against that quality of opposition.

"They hit us hard, they were clinical and we learned quickly what the Premiership is all about in that first 10 or 15 minutes."

On United's late show costing County a lucrative replay, Coughlan added: "It was just unfortunate we couldn't reach our cup final and go back to Old Trafford.

"I thought we had them at two-all. They were rattled. They could have gone under, and that's a strange thing for a League Two manager to say.

"But the Premier League class shone through, so full credit to United."

Follow the January transfer window

The winter transfer window is open and will close at 11pm in England and 11.30pm in Scotland on Thursday February 1.

To ensure harmonisation with the major leagues in Europe, the closing dates were set following discussions with the EFL, DFL, Serie A, LaLiga, and LFP, who will all close their summer and winter windows on 1 September and 1 February respectively.

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms, while you can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News, including daily transfer shows, and listen to our Transfer Talk podcast.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Correctly predict six scorelines to win £250,000 for free with Super 6. Entries by 3pm Saturday.

Around Sky