Erik ten Hag called Marcus Rashford’s trip to a nightclub after their Manchester derby defeat “unacceptable” but says the striker has apologised.
The forward is badly out of form, with just one goal in 14 games for United this season but was seen partying to celebrate his birthday hours after his side lost to Manchester City 3-0 at Old Trafford.
“Yes, I am aware of it, I spoke with him about it,” said Ten Hag in his press conference on Friday. “It’s unacceptable. I told him. He apologised. And that’s it. For the rest it’s an internal matter.”
It’s not the first time Rashford has drawn Ten Hag’s ire for an off-field incident. Last season he was left out of the starting line-up for a Premier League game at Wolves because he overslept and arrived late to a team meeting.
However, Ten Hag firmly rejected suggestions those lapses mean Rashford is not matching the standards set by the United boss.
“Your suggestion is not right,” Ten Hag said. “He’s fitting in [with Ten Hag’s policies]. He’s very motivated to put things right. I know which effort he’s putting in. He’s totally with us.
“He makes a mistake but it doesn’t say he isn’t fitting in. I see him every day, on the training, what he’s doing, I know. Make one mistake. But also, off the pitch what he’s doing, how he lives and I’m sure he’s doing everything right to help the team to perform and to let us win.”
Ten Hag’s comments on Rashford were part of a press conference in which he had to defend the character of his squad, who had been booed off on Wednesday when the Manchester derby defeat was followed by another 3-0 loss at Old Trafford to Newcastle in the Carabao Cup.
The United boss said it is not right to question his players’ character, despite the team losing eight of their first 15 matches this season.