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'F*cking give me the ball!' - Berbatov's advice for Rashford as he says he feels like 'sh*t' after Manchester derby

9:00 pm AEDT 9/1/20
Marcus Rashford Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils striker is looking for the England striker to demand more of those around him and become an on-field leader

Marcus Rashford needs to be more demanding of his Manchester United team-mates, says Dimitar Berbatov, with the Red Devils forward advised to "shout f*cking give me the ball" at those lacking the match-winning ability that he possesses.

The 22-year-old England international has taken his game to career-best heights in the 2019-20 campaign.

He already has 17 goals to his name across all competitions, with the promise of more to come for club and country.

After early questions of his value to the cause, as he was forced to provide cover as a central striker, the highly-rated academy graduate has once again become a talismanic figure for the Red Devils as he closes in on 200 appearances for the club.

Rashford has shown that he can be the go-to man for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with another composed finish delivered in a 3-1 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, and Berbatov wants to see the youngster become more of a leader.

The ex-United striker told Betfair: “It was another great goal from Rashford [against City] and a really fast counter attack. United have some very quick players and they didn't take advantage of that.

“The only trouble sometimes is that the quick players want the ball at their feet and they are not using the space in front of them, but when they try to use the space and make a run the midfield players are not seeing them and not giving them the ball.

“If I am as quick as Rashford and make three runs and nobody sees me or gives me the ball, on the fourth one I wouldn't waste my energy, it's all psychological. 

“When I was playing, Sir Alex would say ‘Give Berba the ball, and when you give it to him, don't stay, run, because he's going to find you’.

“You need to know your team-mates, who is going to pass you the ball and who is going to make the run, these kinds of things are small details, but they are the most important.

“Rashford needs to be strong with his team-mates, if he needs to have an argument on the pitch or shout 'f*cking give me the ball,' do it, it doesn't matter, you need to show character and have that will to win. Argue or fight, it doesn't matter if everything is for the purpose of winning the game, you f*cking do it.”

Rashford’s effort against City has given United hope heading into a return date at the Etihad Stadium, with a forgettable first-half display having left them with a mountain to climb as they fell three goals down amid little resistance.

Berbatov added: “Honestly, after that first leg against City I feel like sh*t. The first half was way below standards, it was not good to watch, the team was all over the place and City were the better side for sure - everybody saw that.

“In the second half there was a bit of an improvement on all fronts, but it was not enough and when City score three goals against you to change the game is next to impossible, as we saw.

“The only thing good about it is that there is another game and hopefully they have time to take something from it and show a better account of themselves.

“I have seen a lot of people saying that the first half was the worst they've ever seen United play, I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it wasn't good. Honestly, City should have scored not three but five goals.

“[Raheem] Sterling not being in his best moment to finish a couple of chances in front of goal was a good thing for United. I think the outcome was more down to how poor United were in the first half and not necessarily how good City were.

“Hopefully, they will recover for the next leg, the real problem is that we are seeing too many of this kind of performances, of course it's not every game but we are seeing it more than we want to, even if it’s just a poor spell in a match, the fans don't want to see it.”

United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday when they host Norwich.