Manchester United working through ‘difficult patch’, Marcus Rashford admits

The Red Devils have suffered defeats to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in recent weeks

Marcus Rashford has acknowledged Manchester United are in a “difficult patch” but has insisted everyone at the club has the desire to turn things around.

The forward was speaking from Windsor Castle after an investiture ceremony for the MBE he was awarded following his campaign to help disadvantaged children.

Since he recovered from a shoulder injury which delayed his start to the campaign, Rashford has netted in wins over Atalanta and Tottenham but they are rare victories for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side during the last month.

Heavy defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City have piled the pressure on the Norwegian, who has failed to win a trophy during his near-three years in charge at Old Trafford.

Rashford said: “The Man United team is the Man United team and we all play for the badge and the club, something for me I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.

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“And for the players that we sign, they see Manchester United as the great club it is and they want to give everything they can for the badge.

“And those things remain the same whether you’re in good spells or bad spells. I know at the moment we’re in a difficult patch but the desire and ambition never changes.”

Saturday’s 2-0 loss at home to Manchester City saw more criticism come Solskjaer’s way and former teammate Rio Ferdinand conceded it was time for the “baton to be handed over” during his Vibe with Five YouTube show.

The former England international won six Premier League titles with the Red Devils, including two with club great Solskjaer but questioned the tactics of the 48-year-old.

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Ferdinand added: “I look at our team every week and wonder what we are going to do, tactically. 

I know at the moment we’re in a difficult patch but the desire and ambition never changes.

“I don’t see any philosophy or an identity in the United way of playing, whatever that should be from the management. I sit here confused looking at the team.”

Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho at the end of 2018 and initially lifted the mood before he secured third and second-place finishes in his two full campaigns at Old Trafford, while United have reached the semi-finals of three domestic competitions and were runners-up in last season’s Europa League.

But Ferdinand insisted: “I was always, deep down, a bit sceptical. Could he take us on to be champions? I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t fully convinced, but hoped he would be able to do that.

“But the showing with the squad he accumulated to the beginning of this season and what I’ve seen this season, I just feel that maybe it might be the time now for the baton to be handed over to someone else who can take us on.”

Rashford collected his MBE on Tuesday

United are without a game until Saturday week when they visit Watford due to the current international break.

Midfielder Paul Pogba was set to sit out the clash while he serves the final match of his three-game suspension for being sent off against Liverpool, but he has now suffered a thigh injury too.

The World Cup winner sustained the issue during training with France on Monday and has been deemed unavailable for the matches against Kazakhstan and Finland during the next week.

The French team said on Twitter: “The victim of an injury to the quadriceps of the right thigh, Paul Pogba is forced to miss the next two matches.”

Edinson Cavani is also sidelined with a tendon problem that forced him to miss the Manchester derby defeat and he is ruled out of Uruguay’s World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Bolivia.

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He told El Observador: “Before starting the season, I had discomfort in the tendon. It made me spend a couple of weeks out until I began to gain some minutes (on the pitch).

“It was improving but, after Tottenham, it started coming back.”

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