‘I’m not Harry Potter’: Erik ten Hag on Marcus Rashford’s magical form

‘Every player has to make his own confidence. It’s up to him.’

Erik ten Hag has played down his role in Marcus Rashford’s impressive turnaround in form. Rashford’s strike in Manchester United’s 3-0 Carabao Cup win at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday was his 10th in 10 games – compared to five in 32 last season. Ten Hag was asked how he has transformed the 25-year-old.

“I’m not Harry Potter,” said the manager. “It’s just confidence. Of course with my staff we brought in structures, especially in the way of play that give him routines that he needs to get into the right position. But finally, it’s up to him, to the player, and when the player has the confidence then I’m convinced, in the way we are working, the environment and the culture, that the player can perform at his best.

“It’s obvious that Marcus is in really good form. From day to day, from training to training, from game to game, the routines are coming in.”

Harry Maguire may start against Reading in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie. The captain is no longer an automatic pick, but Ten Hag denied he had slipped to fifth choice. “It’s up to him. I have to say he’s training very well, bringing quality, and that is what I expect from all the players in the squad. He has to fight for his position and things can change, sometimes quickly. He is making progress.”


Ten Hag was pressed that he never picks Maguire for significant matches. “That’s also not true. After the World Cup he should have played but then he got ill. I can’t do anything about that. Then the team hits a run of form and so he has to wait for his chance.”

Ten Hag stated he would like to strengthen the squad before the transfer window closes on Tuesday. “I would go for it, but that’s not just up to me.” – Guardian