Marcus Rashford has been speaking about staying motivated in an interview with Manchester United’s official website.
The striker has been sidelined after sustaining a double stress fracture of his back in an FA Cup tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers in January.
There was a great deal of doubt over whether the 22-year-old would be fit in time to take any further part in this season’s matches, but football’s postponement due to the coronavirus crisis has bought Rashford time and he should now be able to play a big role in United’s run-in.
Rashford is using the time at home to work up his fitness and has also been working at the gym at United’s Carrington training complex.
‘You know I am privileged enough to have the equipment I need at home so it is not much different for me as I do a lot of work at home anyway, so I am just staying indoors and making sure I am eating right’ Rashford said on Manutd.com.
‘For me motivation is always quite simple. It changes as time goes on, but now that everything outside the pitch is sort of dealt with, I can just focus on myself and improving myself. That is my motivation every day. Regardless of whether we are stuck inside or not, that doesn’t change.’
The England man’s emphasis on staying motivated was directed specifically at United’s academy players, whose season has been cut short by the crisis, leaving them without football altogether.
‘I know all you want to do is play because I’m the same but the decision has been made to protect everyone involved.’
‘This is bigger than football. You might be feeling a bit low but the best thing you can do is pick up your ball and get out in the garden. When I was in the Academy I used to find a spot in the garden and aim for targets just so I could practise my accuracy – get creative!’
‘Now is not the time to fall out of love with the game, it’s a time to remember why you fell in love with it in the first place.’
It is not necessarily the end of the season for all of the club’s youngsters, however. According to The Telegraph, ‘United youngsters have had communication … from head of academy Nick Cox informing them they may still be needed when Solskjaer’s players return to training.’
‘Players have been told to maintain a level of fitness through their personal training schedules.’
‘Some individuals may be required to return to training [with the senior squad].’
With one of the ideas being discussed by the Premier League for ‘Project Restart’ being the ability to use five substitutes in each game, it may indeed be that some of those academy stars may yet see more first team football this season.
United are hoping to make Jadon Sancho the next player to wear the famous number 7 shirt. But how much do you know about the players who have worn it before? Take our quiz below to find out.