MANCHESTER UNITED icon Lee Sharpe criticised Marcus Rashford’s performance in the FA Cup against Wigan.
Rashford helped United beat the Latics 2-0 at the DW Stadium to advance to the competition’s fourth round and ease pressure on under-fire manager Erik ten Hag.
The forward set up Diogo Dalot’s opener and played a big role in the the attack that led to a penalty-kick that Bruno Fernandes converted to seal an important win.
However, Sharpe insists the England international is still far off last season’s stunning form that led to a staggering 30 goals and 11 assists in 56 appearances.
The former midfielder can’t explain what led to that dip in form that has only seen the 26-year-old registering a mere three goals and six assists in 25 matches this term.
However, the ex-England international wasn’t happy with Rashford‘s lack of “intent” and “purpose” in the first few minutes of the match.
The 52-year-old also criticised the United star for “strolling” when he should have been playing quickly.
Sharpe told SunSport on behalf of Fruityslots.com: “Last season, he was unbelievable.
“He was sort of a shining light when the manager came in and this season he doesn’t quite seem to have got up to pace.
“I don’t know whether it’s a confidence thing, whether he’s got something going on off the pitch that’s concerned him a little bit. But he doesn’t seem as focused as direct.
“I watched him last night and you know, after four or five minutes he touched the ball three or four times and not once did he sprint at the full-back or sprint in the game and [after] his first touch he stood someone up and tried to do a trick.
“And the guy’s tackled him [to send the ball out for a] throw in and Marcus Rashford just turn around and just stroll to get the ball and you’re thinking you know, [it’s] an FA Cup tie away at Wigan.
“The fans are going to be up there, the team will be up for it, Man United need to impose themselves, they need to play quick, they need to play with some authority. And just to walk towards the ball…
“You want them to declare intent and tend to show purpose and just to walk off the pitch… I don’t think lazy is the right word….
“I don’t know whether it was a bit of arrogance or whether he’s lacking in confidence or what it is, but he just doesn’t seem to be going past players.
“He seems to be second-guessing himself at times when he’s squared up two players. He’s an unbelievable player with so much ability.”
Nevertheless, Sharpe is confident Rashford will “turn it around” eventually.
However, such an elite player needs to set an example for his team-mates every time he’s on the pitch.
Sharpe added: “I’m sure he can turn it around. But we could do it internally and he’s one of the senior players now and you need to set an example for everyone else.
“And when the team’s light on experienced first-team players he needs to be setting the standard and last night I just thought he could have played with a little bit more.
“A little bit more pace direct and a little bit more authority in himself.”