Soccer-Don't question my commitment to United, says Rashford

Soccer Football - Premier League - Luton Town v Manchester United - Kenilworth Road, Luton, Britain - February 18, 2024 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford reacts REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo

(Reuters) - Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has responded to critics questioning his commitment to the Premier League club after being dropped for disciplinary issues this season by manager Erik ten Hag.

The 26-year-old England international missed United's 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round win over Newport County this month, days after being seen in night clubs in Belfast.

Rashford, who scored a career-high 30 goals last season but has netted only five times for United this campaign, believes he has been treated unfairly by the media.

"When I make a mistake, I'll be the first one to put my hand up and say that I need to do better. But if you ever question my commitment to Man United, that’s when I have to speak up," the forward wrote for The Players Tribune.

"I grew up here. I have played for this club since I was a boy. My family turned down life-changing money when I was a kid so I could wear this badge.

"If you start questioning my commitment to this club and my love for football then I'd simply ask you to have a bit more humanity."

Rashford earned praise during the COVID-19 pandemic when he launched a child food poverty campaign, which prompted a government U-turn in 2020.

United's player of the year last season believes his work off the pitch has also invited criticism.

"I was just trying to use my voice to make sure that kids weren't going hungry because I know exactly how it feels," he said. "For some reason, that seemed to rub certain people the wrong way.

"It seems like they've been waiting for me to have a human moment so they can point the finger and say, 'See? See who he really is?'.

United are having a disappointing season, sitting sixth in the Premier League, eight points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

"I promise you, the world has not seen the best of this United squad and these players. We want to be back playing in the Champions League," Rashford said.

"We just have to keep working, and that starts with me."

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City, editing by Ed Osmond)

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