Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said it was a risk to relegate Marcus Rashford to the bench for disciplinary reasons but maintained it was necessary to create a winning culture at the club.
Rashford, who later said he had overslept and was late for a team meeting, started as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers on New Year’s Eve as punishment. He came on for the second half and scored the winner in a United 1-0 victory.
“Maybe it is a risk but if you want to develop something to create a winning attitude and culture you have to go this way,” Ten Hag said.
“If you allow (players) to be indisciplined, if they don’t match the standards, values, rules we set together — that is the staff, players, and in the dressing room – then it will come back and blow in your face because on the pitch it does not then add the discipline which is necessary to win games.”
Rashford, 25, has rediscovered his form under Ten Hag and scored 13 league goals in 24 appearances so far.
“If it is the right person and the right characters they will react like this,” Ten Hag added. “In relation to Marcus I was quite convinced, knowing him for seven or eight months, that I could expect this reaction he showed.”
United will host Charlton Athletic in the League Cup quarter finals on Tuesday before returning to Premier League action against rivals Manchester City in Saturday’s Derby.
The Cup win against Everton was United’s seventh consecutive victory but Ten Hag warned against complacency.
“You have to be watchful for this, we have to keep this focus and concentration,” he said.
Written with inputs from Reuters
Silva shines on birthday
Villarreal: David Silva produced a masterclass to help third-place Real Sociedad beat Almeria 2-0 on Sunday.
The playmaker, who turned 37 on Sunday, capitalised on defensive confusion in the box to nip in and fire home the opener just after half-time. Silva had played a brilliant pass to put Take Kubo in down the right to start the move.
Alexander Sorloth drilled home his sixth league goal of the season five minutes later to extend La Real’s lead at the Power Horse Stadium.
The Norwegian forward collected Mikel Merino’s ball and cut into the area before beating Fernando Martinez at his near post. Without the suspended Brais Mendez, Imanol Alguacil’s side were not at their best but still managed to inflict Almeria’s first home defeat since September.
Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat at Villarreal on Saturday.