Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes backed under-fire teammate Marcus Rashford following Thursday night’s 4-3 win over Wolves.
Rashford was left out of the squad that travelled to south Wales last weekend to face Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round. The reason given for that absence was ‘illness’, but it came during a now closed ‘internal disciplinary matter’ over the player missing training a few days beforehand after a night out in Belfast had run into the early hours of the next morning.
The 26-year-old, whose form in 2023/24 has been criticised, returned to training this week and was immediately in contention for Wolves. He started and took just five minutes to break the deadlock.
Afterwards, Fernandes praised Rashford’s response to the events of the last week.
“Marcus has been the same, this is what he is capable of doing,” the United skipper said.
“This is what he has to do. This season has not been great for everyone, not only Marcus but we know some players get more scrutiny than others. Everyone has a point to prove, not only Marcus because of the news that came out, or whatever he has done going into the media side. Everyone has to step up in games. It’s not only Marcus, it’s everyone else that is on the pitch.
“You have to do the job. Marcus scored a great goal, we know his qualities, we know what he can do and what he can give to the team. Marcus knows what it means being a United player more than I do because he’s been here his whole life. He is the one that can deal better than that than anyone else.”
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Former United captain Gary Neville had earlier defended Rashford’s right to unwind away from the pitch, but urged the player to consider the timing of his choices.
“To me, going out for a drink or going out for a night out is something that every football player should do and will do, so I’ve got no problem with that whatsoever,” Neville said on BBC Breakfast.
“They need to enjoy themselves. It’s just all about choices and timing. I said this after the Manchester City game. We got beat home by City a few months ago and he went out that night to Chinawhite [in Manchester]. I think it was for his birthday.
“I think we had a game against Newcastle on the Wednesday in the Carabao Cup or something like that…