FIFA World Cup 2018: Marcus Rashford played with real swagger, says Gareth Southgate
England manager Southgate lauds striker's world-class goal in 2-0 win over Costa Rica; says teenager's show gives him a selection headache
England manager Gareth Southgate admitted Marcus Rashford had given him a difficult decision to make ahead of the World Cup with a stunning strike in a 2-0 friendly victory over Costa Rica on Thursday. In England's last match before their tournament opener against Tunisia in 11 days time, Manchester United's Rashford was the star of a much-changed side in Leeds.
Welbeck on target too
Danny Welbeck was also on target as England extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, stretching back nearly a year. "What pleased me most is that Marcus Rashford enjoyed his football tonight. He played with a real swagger," said Southgate. Rashford made the most of the absence of England captain Harry Kane as he started up front alongside Jamie Vardy, and showed what he is capable of with a fiercely struck shot from 25 yards that dipped perfectly into the top corner. "You work on them [goals] in training every day and when one comes up in a game it's a reward," Rashford said.
Rashford endured a difficult end to the season at United, scoring just four times in 2018 at club level, and suffering some criticism from Jose Mourinho. However, Southgate insisted the Rashford, 20, needs to express himself and feel the freedom to make mistakes. "He had a difficult end to the season having to play on his own as a number nine at times. He is still growing. We sometimes forget how young he is," added Southgate.
'Marcus is working hard'
"For me, at the end of the season, he cares so much you can see he was trying too hard. I said to all the team before the game, I expect to see mistakes tonight and, if I don't, there might be a problem because we wouldn't be being as attack-minded as we want to be. "They are going to make errors, but they might also show the glimpses like Marcus's goal. The goal was world-class."
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