Jose Mourinho insists Marcus Rashford has a big part to play for his Manchester United after the teenage striker secured a 1-0 stoppage-time win at Hull City.
Rashford was dropped down to the England Under-21 squad this week having failed to play a minute in United’s opening two Premier League wins.
But the 18-year-old came off the bench to dispatch Wayne Rooney’s low cross at a sodden KCOM Stadium and snatch a victory that looked to have evaded United.
Mourinho has a reputation for being an uneasy nurturer of young talent – Rashford is the first teenager to score in a Premier League game under his management – but the former Chelsea boss spoke glowingly of his matchwinner.
“Marcus Rashford has a lot of chances waiting for him,” he told BT Sport.
“When the team was chasing the ball against Leicester in the Community Shield and tonight, he made a difference for us.
“He gives new problems to the opposition so I am really happy with him and the team. Even defensively, we controlled their counter-attack.”
Mourinho praised his team’s determination on the back of cruising to comfortable victories over Bournemouth and Southampton and made his targets clear having witnessed a conclusion that was once the hallmark of Old Trafford title-winners.
“We deserved [to win] and in a more comfortable way,” he said. “It is a great feeling when you win the points in the last minute.
“The boys were very strong and the second half was like going to fight against a wall. We had an amazing mentality. We were very strong and tried to create problems for the opposition. We tried and tried and got it.
“I tell the boys every day we have to go into every match to win. We must not be happy with less than a win. We know we will draw or lose matches but the mentality has to be go to win. Today they showed that.”
He added: “We want to be champions, we don’t want to start well, we want to finish well.”