Marcus Rashford hides away but Erik ten Hag is in the spotlight again... there is no protective screen from the glare reflecting off his errant Man United stars

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Hidden behind privacy glass fitted to the windscreen of his Lamborghini Urus, Marcus Rashford arrived for training at Carrington on Wednesday lunchtime shielded from the full glare of waiting photographers.

At least we had to assume that it was Rashford behind the wheel of the car that appeared to have been modernised with a tinted window since he drove into the training ground in the same vehicle for showdown talks on Monday morning.

The player was invisible as flashes bounced off the mirror-like glass and he disappeared into the distance. 

Safe to say, this wasn't the reflection Manchester United had in mind when they hoped Rashford would look back on his 12-hour tequila bender in Belfast last week and accept that he had fallen spectacularly short of the standards expected of a professional footballer.

Sadly for his manager Erik ten Hag, there is no such protective screen. No shield from the media glare. Not for the first time in this job, Ten Hag sat down on Wednesday to face a firing squad armed with awkward questions about the conduct of one of his errant stars. For Rashford, read Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.

Marcus Rashford arrived at Carrington with a newly installed privacy windscreen

Marcus Rashford arrived at Carrington with a newly installed privacy windscreen

Marcus Rashford arrived at Carrington with a newly installed privacy windscreen

Erik ten Hag is under the spotlight again for the behaviour of one of his stars

Erik ten Hag is under the spotlight again for the behaviour of one of his stars

Ten Hag trotted out the party line about Rashford taking responsibility and moving on - 'case closed' - but he was considerably more talkative when it came to the more general issue of discipline within his squad.

'First of all, the players at this level need to manage themselves, that is what you can demand from the player,' said Ten Hag. 'The player has to know what is good and not good.

'When you want to play top football, it demands a certain way of life - always.'

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Is this a demand he needs to reiterate after Rashford popped up in various nightspots in Belfast last week before being declared too ill to train on Friday and face Newport County in the FA Cup on Sunday?

'No, come on,' replied the Dutchman. 'We are talking about top football players. I don't have to educate them any more. When you are playing for Manchester United, you should know.

'In football, you need discipline on the pitch but also off the pitch. There is a line between - every player knows what is required.'

Ten Hag was asked why Rashford has been recalled to the squad for the trip to Wolves when Sancho was banished to train on his own for five months and subsequently packed off on loan to Borussia Dortmund.

'We can sort out everything internally. Jadon chose to go public,' he explained.

True, Sancho challenged his manager on social media. But the furore surrounding Rashford's shenanigans in Belfast have become pretty public too, as did him misleading his employers into believing it all took place on Wednesday and not, crucially, on Thursday before he was due back for training.

Rashford's '12-hour tequila bender' has cast unwelcome light on his club

Rashford's '12-hour tequila bender' has cast unwelcome light on his club  

The real difference is that, unlike Sancho, Rashford has held up his hands - even if 'taking responsibility' falls some way short of the apology his manager and team-mates deserve.

Ten Hag is aware that the 26-year-old has joined the same public relations firm who represent Sancho, Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, another United player who has had his issues with the manager this season.

Could that be seen as an aggressive move by the Rashford camp? 'No, it has nothing to do with the relationship between me and Marcus,' came the answer. 'Maybe you have another question, otherwise we will pass it on.'

So we move on. To Molineux on Thursday night and to a fresh start for Rashford. United have had concerns about him for some time, and Ten Hag referenced the support system at the club available to any player who is having problems.

'Of course, that is part of the job, to support your players,' he said.

'We also have people in this club who are helping the players on that. But when you are a player at Manchester United, you have to manage yourself. You have to take responsibility for your performance in the team.

'At Manchester United, it is all about winning football games. It is not so complicated.'

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