Is Ten Hag issuing warning to Benni & Rashford? Manchester United manager asks for more from forwards

Benni Mccarthy Manchester United 2022.Getty Images.
  • Ten Hag praised McCarthy’s work on United’s frontline
  • The Dutchman is impressed with the forwards’ output
  • Red Devils coach has warned against complacency

WHAT HAPPENED? Ten Hag yet again heaped praise on Marcus Rashford, whose lung-bursting run saw him score his 18th goal of the season, when he opened the scoring for United in Wednesday’s 3-0 League Cup semi-final first leg win away to Nottingham Forest.

The Dutchman is impressed not just with Rashford but the team’s front line and appeared to credit McCarthy for turning around the fortunes of the Red Devils forwards to become not just lethal but more dynamic and attractive.

Ten Hag, however, feels a lot still needs to be done by the former Bafana Bafana striker to ensure Rashford does not drop off while the rest of the attack requires more investment if they are to be successful.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "Once again, [Rashford] is actually unstoppable when he is in this mood, when he is in this spirit, in this focus,” Ten Hag was quoted by the club’s website, "but [he can] keep going when he keeps this focus.

"I know football. Football forms a thin line so don't drop off. We all know he can stay there [at the top] but also the team can work for him and we can bring him in such positions that he can score such goals.

“And I think as a team, we improve in that aspect of the game, that our attacking game is more and more attractive, with more and more adventure, more and more movement so we have to make more investment in that because if you want to be really successful, I think every team needs it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: McCarthy has been hailed for transforming United’s forwards since joining Ten Hag’s backroom staff to specialise in coaching attacking plays and positioning, with Rashford benefitting the most, having seen his movement and finishing improve.

The England international managed just five goals in all competitions last season but has 13 more this term, nine of those coming in his last 10 matches, with the season at its halfway stage.

It has also coincided in United’s upturn in form since Ten Hag’s men have only lost once of their last 11 games, and are currently fourth in the Premier League and still in the running for all cup competitions.

WHAT’S NEXT? McCarthy will be hoping that his strikers make their mark again when United host Championship side Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday.

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