‘He was very good for me’: Marcus Rashford hails former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal for playing a key role in his development and ‘making him smile every day’
- Marcus Rashford has expressed gratitude to ex-Man United boss Louis van Gaal
- The Dutchman handed the striker his first taste of senior football during his reign
- Rashford revealed Van Gaal ‘made him smile’ and helped in difficult moments
- He said: ‘The time with Louis was very good for me… his word always meant a lot’
Marcus Rashford has hailed former Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal for playing a key role in his development.
Van Gaal handed Rashford his first taste of senior football after he shot through the ranks at United’s academy.
The England forward showcased his ability by grabbing a brace on his debut in a Europa League victory over Midtjylland in February 2016.
Marcus Rashford revealed he is indebted to Louis van Gaal for helping him early in his career
Van Gaal was dismissed just a few months later despite delivering the FA Cup, but Rashford reflects on his time at the club fondly, and revealed that the Dutchman helped him overcome difficult moments.
‘The time with Louis was very good for me. He and Ryan Giggs helped me a lot,’ the 22-year-old told BT Sport. ‘Because that transition from the reserves to the first team can be hard – I hadn’t played much reserve football.
‘I was on the bench for the first team before I had even started for the reserves. Van Gaal was top.
The striker said Van Gaal ‘always made him smile’ during his tenure at United manager
‘At the time I was getting a lot of praise and attention from everywhere outside but the biggest thing for me were his words.
‘That was what was making me smile every day. To be part of Man United’s first team. There were some games when it was difficult.
‘I remember a game – Tottenham away – when he took me off at half-time. The next day we spoke honestly – I was still smiling.’
Rashford has become a standout player for United since Van Gaal’s departure almost four years ago.
Rashford admitted he was naive to think United would win everything after FA Cup triumph
The 22-year-old also admitted he learned a big lesson from United’s FA Cup success in Van Gaal’s final season in charge.
‘Sometimes we are our biggest nightmare. We want everything too fast,’ he added.
‘Because we won the FA Cup with Van Gaal, I had it in my mind that we were going to win everything. So you are going into the season with expectations and you get a reality check.
‘The way he dealt with the Spurs situation – that was the game I realised I was in a man’s world.’