Rashford and Herrera: Manchester United lifted with return of influential trio

Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera have both stated that Manchester United are lifted with the return of Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The trio returned from injury at near enough the same time, Pogba starting against Newcastle United, a 4-1 victory for United, Ibrahimovic coming off the bench in the same match and Marcos Rojo making his first start in seven months in the 1-0 defeat to Basel in the UEFA Champions League last week.

United face Watford in the Premier League this evening, before embarking on a tough December with nine matches scheduled; starting with a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal, then a crunch Champions League home clash with CSKA Moscow, closely followed by the first Manchester derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford. United will play five more matches in the Premier League; Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City, Burnley, and Southampton – along with a Carabao Cup clash with Bristol City.

On his return, Pogba scored and assisted against Newcastle, also played much of the game against Basel, with his substitution, the creativity was lost from the side, also starting and playing 90 minutes against Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend. Ibrahimovic have been a substitute in the last three matches, whilst Rojo has only played against Basel, an unused substitute in the other matches. Rashford, speaking to MUTV and reported by Sky Sports, stated:

“Not even just thinking about football, but thinking about them personally too, it’s hard to see your team-mates out for so long.

“To have them all back now has brought a really happy vibe to the squad.

“I’m sure they’re all really happy to be back playing again, and if we can keep winning with them in the team, it keeps everything rolling on.”

Herrera also spoke of his delight to have a near fit squad at the club, which has been a long time coming. The extra players in the squad will be of benefit with Arsenal and Manchester City on the horizon, especially with United aiming to chase down the eight-point lead City have in the Premier League at this stage of the season. The Spaniard, speaking about the return of Rojo, Pogba, and Ibrahimovic, said:

“It’s great to have them back and, with them [in the squad], we are stronger.

“Marcos was amazing against Basel – you cannot see the difference between before the injury and now, he’s worked fantastically hard to come back.

“Zlatan is going step by step because the injury he had was even worse, and Mike [Carrick] is going to be back soon, too. With them, we are stronger, and, with them back, we are optimistic of fighting for every title this season.”

Herrera has 17 appearances for United this season, last appearing in the 1-0 defeat to Basel in the Champions League, is looking forward to playing more matches over the Festive period, with United needing to rotate players to keep them fresh for the busy period. Speaking about the rotation and the boost held by the club with the return of these three important players, Herrera said:

“I think it’s the best thing you can have. As a footballer, you want to play as many games as possible, you want to be part of the team always. We have a lot of players, a lot of quality and a lot of games, so it’s fantastic for all of us.”

Rashford, who will be seeking his chance to lead the line for the club during the busy period, although he now has to fight both Romelu Lukaku and Ibrahimovic for that role stated that at this stage of the season, you could see certain pathways in tournaments, with United still seeking to challenge in the Premier League, retain the Carabao Cup and push themselves into the knockout stages of the Champions League, still with the Emirates FA Cup to come into the running in January. The 20-year-old forward said:

“It’s great to have all the games and, while we prefer to take it one game at a time when it’s so busy, by the time it gets to Christmas, it calms down a bit and you can start to see pathways to certain tournaments and certain trophies.”

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