Erik ten Hag has hailed Marcus Rashford as ‘unstoppable’ after the Manchester United striker’s 10th goal in 10 games left Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper admitting their Carabao Cup semi-final was almost over.
Following their 3-0 win at the City Ground, the United manager was delighted with how his side reacted to Sunday’s Premier League defeat at Arsenal, which left them 11 points behind leaders Premier League. But he came as close as he comes to an emotional outpouring when assessing Rashford’s remarkable progress which was confirmed by a brilliant first goal here, when he ran half the pitch and between two Forest defenders before passing the ball from the right foot to the left foot. to mark.
“There are more players playing really well but I’m happy with Marcus, his performance and his development,” Ten Hag said. “Since the start of the season he has been growing and continuing to do so. We have to continue his process and if he is in that mood and that spirit, I think he is unstoppable.
“It’s up to the team to put him in the right positions. In possession we have a plan, [but it is up to some players like] like Rashy, Bruno [Fernandes] and Christian Eriksen for being creative in the final third and doing something no one expects, crazy stuff.
Forest could be forgiven for focusing on their next Premier League game at Leeds a week on Sunday and Cooper accepts that the return game at Old Trafford next Wednesday is about more than trying to pull off a miraculous comeback.
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult,” he said. “It was going to be that anyway, but it’s going to be three times as much now. We have to set ourselves goals to come out of the next game better than we go into it.
Ten Hag was also pleased to see Wout Weghorst score his first goal for United but took the counterattack as a warning which led Forest to believe they had equalized before Sam Surridge was ruled offside. “There was a moment that could have changed it and we have to avoid that,” he said. “It’s a learning moment to develop a very good team [after] the first 20 minutes were all ours. Then we allow them to come back into the game and that can’t happen, it’s a learning moment. The second half was much better, much calmer.