Marcus Rashford eager to 'get back to how Manchester United play'

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Marcus Rashford wants to “get back to how Manchester United play” after an underwhelming sixth-place Premier League finish this season.

United recovered from a modest start under Jose Mourinho following the introduction into the dugout in December of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who won 14 of his first 17 matches in interim charge.

That gave United renewed hope of a top-four finish but, shortly after Solskjaer’s permanent appointment as manager, the club ran out of steam and won just two of their final 12 fixtures – and none of their last six.

Alongside an image which shows Solskjaer with his hand on Rashford’s shoulder, the 21-year-old wrote on his social media channels: “Next season we need to get back to how @manchesterunited play, for me that’s most important.

“We need to find that willingness and respond the right way.”

A number of players under-performed in the closing weeks of the campaign, including England forward Rashford, who became a regular under Solskjaer but failed to find the net in his last seven starts.

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Jose Mourinho insists a "nice guy" can become a "puppet" at Man United

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Jose Mourinho claims a “nice guy” manager can end up becoming a “puppet”.

In what could be construed as a swipe at his Manchester United successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Mourinho says time has proved his methods at Old Trafford were not the problem.

Mourinho, who led United to second in the Premier League last season, was sacked in December after a dismal start to the latest campaign.

Solskjaer brought a fresh approach and lifted a lot of the gloom after taking over on an interim basis, winning 10 of his first 11 games, but form then deserted him after being appointed full-time.

United won just two of their last nine league games and finished in sixth, outside the Champions League positions.

Mourinho told L’Equipe: “Generally, the players can feel a certain erosion, especially when you ask a lot of them.

“When I say that the second season was fantastic, I say it because the potential and the objectives were met.

“I really squeezed, like an orange, to achieve them. When you have a very professional group of players who are ambitious, hard-working and talented, at a structured club, you don’t have that erosion.

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“When you are almost alone, in that you don’t have the support of the club close to you, while certain players go somewhat against the coach, who is the nice guy.

“I don’t want to be the nice guy, because the nice guy, after three months, is a puppet and that doesn’t end well.”

Mourinho continues to rate last season’s second place highly – when United finished 19 points behind Manchester City – and feels recent events have cast it in a greater light.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss said: “I said nine or 10 months ago that after winning eight championships, finishing second with United may have been my greatest achievement. Now people understand.

“About United I want to say only two things: One is that time has spoken. Two is that the problems are still there.”

Mourinho reportedly had his differences with record signing Paul Pogba, but he insists the problems at the club go far deeper than the France midfielder.

He said: “The problems are there, you can say that these are the players, the organisation, the ambition. I only say that I cannot say ‘yes’ when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible.”

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Man United's Ander Herrera defends Jose Mourinho, insists players should shoulder blame

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Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera believes the players must shoulder large parts of the blame for what was a disastrous season.

The Spaniard – who announced that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season – defended former United coach Jose Mourinho in the process.

Herrera reiterated that the players deserve 75 per cent of the blame.

“We have to take responsibility,“ Herrera told the club’s official website. ”All of us. It’s not fair to blame others. When you have a bad season, 75 per cent is the responsibility of the players.

“It’s very easy when a manager is sacked to blame someone else, but it is the fault of every one of us.

“Every player in the dressing room has a responsibility for what has happened this season. We have done bad things.

“We have done some good things but, for Manchester United, it is not enough. Probably 14 teams, if they are sixth, they are happy, but Manchester United cannot be happy.”

The 29-year-old enjoyed a great relationship with Mourinho and his words reflected that.

“If we are speaking about this last season, I have huge respect for Jose,” Herrera added. “He tried everything. The first season with him was quite successful.

“Then we were second and we had a lot of expectation for this season but it didn’t work. Not only because of him (but) because, I repeat, every player has responsibility.”

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