Marcus Rashford has admitted that it was difficult for him to play his best football under former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Rashford burst onto the senior stage at United when Louis van Gaal was in charge at Old Trafford in 2016, before having to adjust to life under a new boss after the Dutchman’s sacking at the end of that season.
Mourinho handed the England international a prominent role in his set-up after moving into the dugout, but he wasn’t able to deliver the goods in the final third on a consistent basis during the Portuguese’s two-and-a-half-year reign, which he puts down to being stifled from a creative standpoint.
Quizzed on whether Mourinho allowed his players to express themselves freely going forward, Rashford told BT Sport: “I think that’s when we play our best football (when we can be flexible).
“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 team-mate 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 the team!” the Red Devils 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.'”