England manager has urged Manchester United’s youngstar Marcus Rashford to prove to the world why he should be on the plane to France next month.
The youngstar has impressed with a series of performances for Manchester United after coming in due to injuries to major first team players and has impressed with him set to play a major part in Jose Mourinho’s team next season and Roy Hodgson has insisted this is his opportunity to prove if he will be at the Euros next month.
“He was a surprise when he appeared on the team-sheet and, of course, we were as surprised as anyone to see how well he did,” Hodgson said.“I worked hard in the beginning when after one or two games people were saying ‘a new genius is born, Hodgson must take him to France’. I worked hard to play down those expectations and demands to, at least, give him the time to see if he could keep it up over two or three months. And that’s what he’s done and he’s even playing well at the end of what might be a tough period for him.
“I think he’s got very interesting qualities, whether he can reproduce them at international level at such a young age we will find out. But it is a big game for him tomorrow night because I, my coaching staff and the rest of the players, he himself, the whole of the English football world is going to be looking and saying ‘right, we all think this lad has got something special. Can he now show it to us once again?And we will be giving him every opportunity to do so. You heard Jordan say it – he will have so much support, so much encouragement from the rest of the team. There is no doubt about that whatsoever.”
Hodgson dismissed the suggestion that part of his motivation might be to include a relatively unknown ‘wildcard’ player – “I don’t think in individual terms, I think of how we are as a team,” he said – or that he was tempted to take Rashford along for experience the way Sven-Goran Eriksson questionable inclusion of Theo Walcott for the 2006 World Cup.
“I can’t alter the fact that playing him will create headlines and exceptional interest,” Hodgson said of Rashford’s impending debut. “I am confident he will be able to handle it I wanted to avoid headlines after such a meteoric rise, but I can’t do that unless I disguise intentions and I don’t want to do that. I am really excited to see how it pans out (for him) on the international stage.”