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Man Utd: Gary Neville sends message to Marcus Rashford after West Ham winner

Gary Neville was pleased for Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford (Picture: Sky Sports)

Gary Neville says Manchester United’s dramatic winner against West Ham was ‘really important’ for Marcus Rashford and the club as a whole.

West Ham looked set to become the latest team to frustrate Ralf Rangnick’s side at Old Trafford but Rashford scored with virtually the last kick of the game to send United back into the top four.

The last-minute win came just three days after Manchester United beat Brentford 3-1 and Neville insists it was a ‘very good week’ for his former club.

The Red Devils legend felt the West Ham victory was of even greater importance given Rashford has endured a difficult few months following England’s run to the Euro 2020 final last summer.

‘Very good week. Tough games, games you would think United would win but with the way they’ve been playing you’re not quite sure anymore,’ Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.

‘They rode their luck against Brentford and yesterday you saw something happening. I think Ralf Rangnick comes out of this week stronger than he started.

‘I think people are backing him. I think he feels stronger and more in control than he was two weeks ago.

Rashford scored an injury-time winner at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

‘The goal in the last minute is a big one for the club and for the scorer. It was really important for Rashford.

‘There were a lot of questions being asked of Marcus Rashford. I don’t think it’s fair when people say he’s distracted as soon as he has a difficult patch.

‘That’s the easy thing to say. It’s easy to point to the off-field stuff. But it was a big thing for him.

‘It brought him joy and that’s the most important thing for a footballer, passion and joy. You don’t have to walk around with a smile on your face but you want to see joy or passion or fire.

Ralf Rangnick watches on during United’s clash with West Ham (Picture: Getty)

‘I don’t want to see that face of nothing. I think Marcus in the last couple of months or so, he’s just looked drained of energy and spirit. And that can’t happen.

‘You need emotion. It was a big moment for him and hopefully now that gives him the confidence to rise, puff his chest out and do the stuff that he can do because he’s an excellent forward.’

Saturday’s victory saw Manchester United climb above West Ham and move into the top four, although they may well drop out again when Arsenal and Tottenham play their games in hand.

After United won successive league games for the first time under Rangnick, the German interim manager said: ‘The atmosphere in the dressing room is amazing. Quite rightly the boys were celebrating. They know what a massive win this was.

‘Those are the best kind of wins when the other team has no time to come back. We are extremely happy with the performance and the level of physicality we played with bearing in mind we played three days ago at Brentford.

‘We didn’t always find the best solutions in the final third. In the last 20 minutes we had too many shots on goal when there was no realistic chance to score.

‘We needed to be a bit more patient, but in the end it was about taking all three points. The red army’s support during the game was amazing. I can only say thank you to all the fans.

‘It’s always good but today was massive and they were also aware of how important this game was. They pushed us through the whole game.’

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