Marcus Rashford has admitted that it was difficult for him to play his best football under former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
The Red Devils forward said Mourinho’s pragmatic style of play prevented him from expressing himself fully in the final third.
Mourinho spent two and a half years in charge of United, where he managed Rashford before being sacked by the club in 2018.
Rashford scored only five league goals during Mourinho’s first season in 2016-17 and followed that up with another poor seven-goal season in 2017-18 as the Portuguese often preferred either Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Romelu Lukaku at the time.
The 23-year-old Rashford, who won the Europa League, the League Cup and Community Shield during Mourinho’s time in charge, finished with just 15 Premier League goals under the ‘Special One’ prior to his sacking midway through the 2018-19 season.
Since then, the England international Rashford has flourished under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he reflected on his time with both managers in Manchester.
“I think that’s when we play our best football [when we can be flexible],” Rashford told BT Sport when asked if Mourinho allowed the players to express themselves in the attack and reflecting on how Solskjaer has made a massive difference.
“Under Jose, I would say everything was a bit [points] ‘you play there, you play there, you play there’.
“And yeah, you can do a job, but it was difficult for me to play my best football.”
Rashford’s old teammate Wayne Rooney also weighed in on Mourinho’s rigid matchday planning, recalling the time he was benched in favour of his fellow countryman for United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in 2017-18.
“I remember a Chelsea game, I was on the bench. Marcus kept me out [of] the team!”, the legend added on Rio Ferdinand’s Between the Lines show. “I remember he (Jose) played a back SIX.
“And I remember thinking, ‘Jose’s put Marcus up top on his own. Unless he runs in behind Chelsea and David Luiz, with all that experience, if he comes to feet we’re in trouble.'”
Having scored a career-best 17 Premier League goals last season, and Rashford has been brilliant this season as well having 10 league goals and 20 across all competitions this season.
Rashford has broken the 20-goal mark for United in back-to-back seasons under Solskjaer. His form has helped United to second in the Premier League and a Europa League final against Villarreal.
The young English star also has 15 assists to his name this term and United will be hoping he keeps shining for his boyhood club.