Football

ManUnited boss Erik ten Hag says footballers need discipline “on & off pitch”

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says footballers need discipline “on and off the pitch”.

His comments come in a week in which England forward Marcus Rashford has had to take responsibility for his actions after reportedly twice being seen in nightspots in Belfast.

Rashford then reported ill for United training on Friday after flying to Manchester from Northern Ireland.

He did not feature in Sunday’s FA Cup win over Newport.

Ten Hag refused to speak about Rashford’s situation when he addressed the media before his side’s Premier League trip to Wolves on Thursday.

But asked if he was imposing the right discipline on his players, he said: “It’s nothing to do with me but in football, you need discipline and that is on the pitch but also off the pitch,” he said.

“There is a line between, every player, every professional knows this, what is required.”

Allegations in the Sun about Rashford’s behaviour on his nights out did not reflect well on the 26-year-old.

It is the third time in 13 months Rashford has been reprimanded by Ten Hag following off-field issues.

He was dropped for last season’s game at Wolves because he overslept and missed a team meeting. He then apologised to Ten Hag for going to a pre-arranged birthday party in October hours after United suffered an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat by Manchester City.

Ten Hag denied Rashford was showing him disrespect with his repeated transgressions.

“It’s nothing to do with that but as I said, let’s focus on the game, let’s move on,” he said. “We have to focus on winning football games.

“He has taken responsibility and for the rest it’s an internal matter. Case closed.”

Rashford will be in United’s squad for the trip to Wolves, with Ten Hag desperate for the forward to continue his recent form of two goals and an assist in his last two Premier League games.

“There’s a strong bond developing between Marcus and Rasmus Hojlund and we want to continue that process,” he said.

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