Marcus Rashford is 'full of it' when he pulls the England shirt on, says Alan Smith
Last Updated: 22/06/18 11:22am
The England shirt is bringing the best out of Marcus Rashford after a season of stagnation at Manchester United, says Alan Smith.
Rashford was the first player England manager Gareth Southgate turned to from his bench, which helped change the game in their 2-1 win over Tunisia.
The Manchester United forward replaced Raheem Sterling in the 68th minute - and Southgate is considering dropping Sterling against Panama on Monday, judging by a note spotted at England training.
Rashford's name, rather than Sterling, was pictured on the note playing in the front two alongside captain Harry Kane.
The United man netted spectacular goal in a man-of-the-match display against Costa Rica in England's send-off friendly, where he looked a different player to the one at Old Trafford this season.
The 20-year-old forward did not start a single Premier League game between the Boxing Day draw with Burnley and the win over Liverpool on March 10, when he scored twice in a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.
Former England striker Smith thinks Southgate will be very tempted to throw Rashford on from the start due to the striker's current level of confidence.
"Rashford did well when he came on - he's full of it at the moment," he told Sky Sports.
"He's had a difficult season at Manchester United but seems to have rebuilt his confidence with England. The way he performed off the bench suggests he's in the right frame of mind.
"It's a difficult one for Southgate - if this story is correct then Southgate would have spoken to Sterling to gauge his mood. His confidence would have been affected by that early miss against Tunisia and he never really picked up from there."
Harry Kane scored twice for England in their 2-1 victory in Monday's opening Group G game in Volgograd, having scored 41 goals in 48 games for Tottenham last season.
Smith admits that Kane would get into any team at the World Cup but has called for his England team-mates to help their star man in the goals department if England are to go deep into this tournament.
"You need other people to step forward - we've got those players," he added.
"Sterling, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard all are capable of chipping in with goals - and that needs to happen if England are to be successful in this tournament."
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