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Marcus Rashford "ready and focused" ahead of new campaign

Marcus Rashford
© Reuters
Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford reveals that he is in a confident mood ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Marcus Rashford has said that there has been a "buzz around the training ground" over the last week, with Manchester United returning to pre-season training last Monday.

The 24-year-old was one of a number of first-team players to return to the Carrington complex on June 27, as he was not selected in the England squad for the June fixtures.

Rashford struggled to make his mark for the Red Devils last term, managing only five goals and two assists in 31 appearances, and there had been suggestions that he was looking to depart this summer.

However, Erik ten Hag has allegedly told the attacker that he is in his plans for next season, and the Englishman has opened up on his first week of training under the club's new head coach.

"We have got that feeling of excitement and that buzz around the training ground again and so it is definitely positive going into pre-season," Rashford told MUTV. "It is just about, one, getting the principles right of how Erik wants us to play and the details, and, two, enjoying it.

Manchester United's Fred celebrates scoring their first goal with Marcus Rashford on April 2, 2022© Reuters

"In the first week of training we have done both and everyone is looking forward to going on the tour and putting what we have done in training into the first games.

"It is a fresh start for everyone and for me personally I have had quite a long break, a nice camp before coming back into training, and how we are starting off on the right foot.

"Like I said, everyone is looking forward to pre-season now and going out to try to put into the games what we have learned in training so far, and what we will continue to learn, not only in the pre-season but throughout the season as well."

Rashford also believes that he will benefit from having a long period off since the end of last season, with the attacker missing the end of the 2021-22 campaign due to illness, while as mentioned, he was left out of the England squad for their UEFA Nations League games.

"I have definitely not had that much rest before in a summer break, so it was a little bit strange at first and I had to adjust my program a little bit, make it a little bit longer, so I could come in with a positive look on everything, and like I say we are excited to go away [on tour] now. You feel every day now you are getting that one step sharper and one step fitter to being ready for the season.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur on October 30, 2021© Reuters

"I don't think I have had a proper pre-season since 2019 so for me it is definitely a positive thing. I feel like I probably needed that time to switch off a little bit and me having that time enabled me to refocus a lot earlier than I expected to be honest.

"It [the break] was just a few days over four weeks and I always split it in half, so I had two weeks when I was just relaxing and a little over two weeks when I was training so it's been a good period for me.

"Like I say, I feel ready and focused so when that first game does come it's good to know you have done almost six weeks of training beforehand. It will definitely be a positive."

Rashford, who has scored 93 goals and registered 57 assists in 302 appearances for Man United, is expected to be part of the squad that travels to Thailand on Friday for the first leg of their pre-season tour.

The team's first friendly of the summer will be against Liverpool on July 12, while they will also face Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano ahead of their 2022-23 Premier League opener against Brighton & Hove Albion on August 7.

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