Erik ten Hag lays down law to Man Utd players after Marcus Rashford incident

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Erik ten Hag lays down law to Man Utd players after Marcus Rashford incident
Erik ten Hag lays down law to Man Utd players after Marcus Rashford incident

Erik ten Hag has laid down the law to his Manchester United players after Marcus Rashford was dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Rashford overslept and was late for a team meeting, with Ten Hag punishing him by putting him on the bench for United's game at Wolves on New Year's Eve.

England striker Rashford reacted to the punishment in the best possible way, coming off the bench to score a 76th-minute winner and seal a 1-0 win that lifted United into fourth spot. Rashford is back to his best form, with 11 goals this season, but that did not stop Ten Hag from dropping him for breaking team rules.

The United boss is an arch disciplinarian and warned his squad the episode with Rashford showed he will not tolerate rules being broken - irrespective of the profile or importance of the player.

Rashford is expected to be restored to the starting line-up for the visit of Bournemouth to Old Trafford, with Ten Hag adamant he made the right decision by dropping the 25-year-old.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash eridzriquhikeinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

"You have to set values and standards," said Ten Hag. "All the players have to match that. No-one is more important for a team than another. Everyone has to play his role.

Erik ten Hag lays down law to Man Utd players after Marcus Rashford incidentMarcus Rashford was relegated to the bench after his tardiness (Getty Images)

"Of course, I value individuals and in my approach to line up the team I will also bring them in circumstances – especially the goal makers – that we put them in the right positions so they can perform to their potential. But finally it’s about a team sport, and if you want to win everyone has to match certain standards."

Ten Hag believes Luke Shaw can shine at centre-back for Manchester United. The England defender helped United to a 1-0 win at Wolves on New Year's Eve and could start in the middle again against Bournemouth on Tuesday.

Lisandro Martinez has resumed training and may be available but, should the Argentina World Cup winner fail to make it, Ten Hag has no hesitation about calling on Shaw again.

"You have a plan, sometimes it changes by circumstances like illnesses. Casemiro did well at centre-half, like Shaw against Forest," Ten Hag said.

"The way we were to approach Wolves, I thought it was the best match with Rafa (Varane) and Luke, you know the speed of Wolves over the right side and he could cover that.

"We wanted to attack on the left side with an offensive game from Tyrell Malacia and, in possession with a left footer, you get better angles on the pitch. He was impressing but he is also good as a left full-back. It's an extra option which is always good."

David McDonnell

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