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Erik ten Hag backs Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford amid goal troubles

Ten Hag backs Hojlund, Rashford amid goal troubles
© Reuters
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag backs both Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford to overcome their goal struggles.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag is certain that both Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford will soon be finding the back of the net on a regular basis.

Hojlund is the team's leading goalscorer this season with five, but all of his efforts have come in the Champions League, with the Denmark international yet to register in the Premier League.

The 20-year-old drew another blank in England's top flight against Luton Town before the international break, making it nine games in the competition without a goal.

Rashford, meanwhile, has only managed one goal in all competitions this term, with the 26-year-old struggling to reach the heights of his spectacular 2022-23 season.

Ten Hag has insisted that Hojlund's Champions League form will eventually translate to the Premier League, while the Man United head coach also backed Rashford to soon hit the goal trail.

Manchester United forward Rasmus Hojlund on November 8, 2023© Reuters

"If you score in the Champions League five times, you will score also in the Premier League, it's just a matter of time," Ten Hag told beIN Sports.

"As long as we, as a team, are creating the chances, and as long as he (Hojlund) is convinced, I believe he will start scoring goals."

Meanwhile, when asked about Rashford, Ten Hag said: "He has proven it across all his career. He's scored more than 100 goals already in the Premier League. He scored last season; 30 goals, so there will come a moment in this season that it clicks.

"I think every striker, in the moment, has a period that he is not scoring. And then every striker starts to [over] think and when it happens, you know you were right and then you missed a moment because you have only a split moment.

"In the Premier League, Champions League, opponents defend so well, not only as individuals but as a team. You have to take benefit from that split moment to make it count that you have that half-a-yard split second and score a goal."

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford looks dejected on September 3, 2023© Reuters

Man United will be aiming to make it five wins from their last six in the Premier League when they head to Everton on Sunday afternoon, and Ten Hag has insisted that the Red Devils are moving "in the right direction".

"We are, say, one third [through the season]," he added. "It was a tough start, as we've seen, but I think we are catching up. And from the last five games we've won four. So we are in a good mood and I think we are [heading] in the right direction.

"So, before we go into that intense programme in December, I think we're building and we're building confidence. We're building strong belief, and we're building also some routines.

"And now we hope we can more or less stay with the same line-up or with 12 to 14 players, while constructing the line-up, because I think so far that was our difficulty. Every time we had to change and we don't develop routines. Every time we had to change."

Rashford will be available for Man United's trip to Everton, but Hojlund faces a late fitness test on the muscular problem that he suffered against Luton before the international break.

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