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ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

2016/2017 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
10 Man City 0 0 0 0
11 Man Utd 0 0 0 0
12 Boro 0 0 0 0
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Man United's Marcus Rashford can handle the spotlight - Michael Carrick

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes that Marcus Rashford will be able to handle the attention that has been thrust upon him.

Rashford, 18, has scored four times in his opening two matches for the club, netting two apiece in wins over FC Midtjylland and Arsenal.

The striker was thrown into the first team after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up before the game against Mitdylland on Thursday, while he started again on Sunday in the 3-2 win against Arsene Wenger's men.

Carrick told MUTV: "It is an unbelievable start for him. He has just got to keep his head down and keep going. There is going to be a lot of attention on him now, people are going to be looking at him because he has thrown himself straight into the spotlight -- which is great to see. He is a level-headed guy and I am sure he will deal with it well.

"For all of us, just to see what it means to him and the other new boys who are new to the team, after working hard for so long and for so many years, is great and everybody responds to that. We stick together and look after them, and the fans certainly did their bit. I thought they were brilliant."

The crowd at Old Trafford were chanting "Marcus Rashford, he's one of our own" when the player was substituted in the 80th minute on Sunday, and his teammate Juan Mata said Rashford is restoring pride at Old Trafford.

"With such a good team performance it's never fair to highlight this or that player, but of course all of us are very happy for Marcus Rashford," Mata wrote on United's official website.

"He's played just a few minutes with the first team and has already scored very important goals, showing his great potential and giving us a hint of the bright future that I'm sure he has and that I wish to him.

"Besides, the club's tradition and its connection with the Academy is making the fans proud of the great moment that Marcus and other team-mates are living, for they can see that the work with the young players is being rewarded."

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has scored four times in his first two matches for Manchester United's first team.

United teammate Morgan Schneiderlin also hailed Rashford, who is expected to get the chance to extend his stunning start to life in the top-flight when United face Watford at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Schneiderlin said: "It is amazing for him. He reminds me a bit of Anthony [Martial], the way that he started, scoring against Liverpool and against Southampton. It's the same for Marcus; he is a very good player.

"He didn't train [with the first team] many times, but when he did train we could see straight away that he had this quality. On Wednesday he showed it and he showed it again [on Sunday]. I hope he continues like that, because he is an exciting prospect for the football club."

Rashford's displays have led to much local pride, including at Fletcher Moss Rangers -- the junior club he used to play for.

Fletcher Moss is famous for having produced a series of United first-team players, including former striker Danny Welbeck, who scored for Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.

David Horrocks, a coach from Fletcher Moss, believes that Rashford will go on to become better than Welbeck.

Horrocks told the Daily Mail: "Marcus has far more pace than Danny ever had. Danny would wait for the ball to come to him, Marcus is hungry for it. He has the same mentality to training that Eric Cantona and David Beckham had.

"Personally, I see him as a centre-forward. He has a tremendous pair of shoulders and is built like an athlete. He is so resilient, he can bounce up. He got cracked in the face on Thursday night, he wasn't bothered, just bounced right back up. We are proud of what Danny has achieved but I think Marcus will go on and do even better."

Discussing why Rashford ended up at United and not Manchester City, Horrocks said: "City offered him a chance to play for the club and said they'd build their team around him.

"United were worried about losing out because City was so convenient geographically. So they called me to see if I could drive him into their training ground at The Cliff on a Sunday morning.

"United had a programme to develop individual skills. The ethos was laid down by Rene Meulensteen and all the coaches followed it. It suited Marcus down to the ground because he was allowed to have the ball and express himself rather than just pass, pass, pass."

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him @ARejSport

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