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Wayne Rooney says senior Man Utd players need to get Marcus Rashford fired up

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has said that Marcus Rashford needs to be more ruthless as a number nine after struggling against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup fifth round.

The England international has started the last two games up front with Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial being sidelined by injuries. He has been largely ineffective from the role.

At City Ground last night, Rashford had a decent passing accuracy of 71 per cent, but he did not register a single shot on target. He lost possession on 11 occasions over 90 minutes.

Speaking after the game, Rooney acknowledged that the team need to create chances for the striker.

However, he added that Rashford needs to be more ruthless and patient. The United legend urged the 26-year-old to stay in the middle of the goal instead of drifting wide.

He said on BBC Sport: “You need the team to create chances for you if you are playing as a number nine. Marcus Rashford needs to be more ruthless and be patient and stay in the middle of the goal. You just want to see more from him.”

The 38-year-old feels confidence is the main factor. Rashford’s body language has not been the best and Rooney would like to see the senior players get him fired up.

He added: “Confidence is the main factor, he hasn’t been scoring regularly this season and he maybe needs to simplify his game to get back in the groove.”

“He’s not the most vocal lad. His body language doesn’t look great at times but he’s not like that. The senior players need to get more out of him and get him fired up.”

Rashford needs to make a statement in Manchester derby

Rashford was sensational for United last term with 31 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. He has failed to replicate the same with only five goals and six assists so far.

Despite this, the club graduate is one of the most important players under manager Erik ten Hag. He has the chance to make a statement in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

United are already eight points adrift of the top four and they can’t afford to lose further ground with another setback against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Rashford has had decent output against City with five goals and one assist from 19 meetings. United’s chances of getting anything from the game could depend on him.

As Rooney said, Rashford must stick to his centre forward position to anticipate changes rather than drifting to the left or dropping deep to link up with his teammates.

Stats from