London, Oct. 31, 2022 (dpa/ABC) Marcus Rashford insists next month’s FIFA World Cup finals are not yet on his radar after his timely return to form.
Rashford, who has not appeared for England since missing his kick in the penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, notched his 100th goal for Manchester United on Sunday.
His brilliant first-half header —- his seventh in all competitions this season —-sealed a 1-0 English Premier League (EPL) home win against West Ham United.
The win helped to maintain Manchester United’s top-four challenge and he appears to be back near his best.
But when asked if the World Cup was on his mind after his match-winning display at Old Trafford, Rashford who turned 25 on Monday said: “Not at the minute.
“I’m concentrating on the next game. We have to try and keep winning games here.
“We’ve got two more league games before the World Cup. If we win those two games we’ll stay in (contention for) the top four. So, that’s what I’m focused on.”
Rashford, with 46 caps, was left out of Gareth Southgate’s last two squads, most recently due to injury, but his confidence has been restored under Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.
“I just think the energy is a lot different,” Rashford said. “That’s the biggest thing, the energy is more positive.
“Within the whole team and at the training ground, for me that is the biggest thing. I just want it to keep going really and keep enjoying it. If we’re winning games, I’m sure that will happen.”
Manchester United are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions since their 6-3 defeat at Manchester City earlier this month.
They sit one point behind fourth-placed Newcastle United with a game in hand.
Rashford added: “It’s been enjoyable. I think we’ve improved gradually and we’ll hopefully keep doing that.
“Knowing the manager, he’s not one to let us rest on anything. He’ll make sure we keep pushing ourselves and pushing each other to keep improving.”
Ten Hag said after Sunday’s win that he had asked Rashford to work on his heading when he first arrived at Old Trafford in April and that was now paying dividends.
Rashford added: “Yeah, definitely. Getting into the areas is one thing, but the technique and the desire and wanting to get your head on the end of it, that’s what I’ve been working on. It’s nice to get a couple of goals out of that.”