Marcus Rashford has discussed Manchester United’s ‘motivation’ to catch rivals Liverpool and how the club must find ‘consistency’ to challenge for the Premier League title.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side enjoyed a strong second half of the season to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification, the club finishing the campaign with a 14-game unbeaten run to pip Chelsea to third place.
The improved performances of an emerging side have raised optimism ahead of next season, but there remains significant room for improvement to catch bitter rivals and champions Liverpool, who finished the season 33 points clear of the Red Devils at the summit.
Rashford admits the rivalry between the two sides and Manchester City adds as additional motivation to reestablish themselves as Premier League contenders, but says United must focus on improving themselves ‘as individuals and as a team’ as they bid to close the gap.
“I think that’s natural for anyone who plays for the club or anyone who’s from Manchester. We have to use all that as motivation to keep improving as a team,” Rashford told the PA News agency.
“But we can’t lose sight of what’s important, and that’s our own team’s development and to keep improving. You can find yourself sometimes looking too much elsewhere, but we play our best and we improve most when we concentrate on ourselves as individuals and as a team.
“The manager always wants us to do that and that’s the best way to do it.”
Rashford admits that securing a return to the Champions League was a positive step forwards for Solskjaer’s youthful squad, though insists his side must still find greater consistency in their performances if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.
“It’s obviously a big step. The lads worked hard and for me, it’s what we deserved as a team. We’ve had some tough times this season and some times where we’ve been unstoppable.
“But we need to find that consistency, that’s the biggest thing for us. We have quite a young team, so if we can find that consistency, that will be important for us.”