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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Marcus Rashford 'focused on improving,' not Rooney comparison

Jose Mourinho gets another jab in at Manchester United's fixture calendar after handling Middlesbrough 3-1 in the Premier League.
Manchester United overtake Arsenal for 5th as Jose Mourinho's men see off Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Marcus Rashford has told The Players' Tribune that Wayne Rooney has been a "massive" influence on his career and played down comparisons between the pair.

Rashford, 19, made his United debut in February 2016 and said he didn't even meet Rooney until after the game, a 5-1 win against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League in which he scored twice.

"I know the comparisons that have been made between the two of us," Rashford said. "I know the expectations that people have of me. For me, I'm just focused on improving my game however I can.

"And being around Wayne and training with him has been massive for that. He speaks to me a lot about the game -- the positions he's been in, the situations he's had to deal with.

"I first met Wayne after my debut for United. He was injured at the time, but he came into the changing room after the game, walked straight up to me and said congratulations.

"It may seem like a small thing, but it wasn't. It meant a lot to me."

Marcus Rashford cites Wayne Rooney as a positive influence on his career.

Rashford added that Rooney was crucial in helping England begin their recovery from the shock defeat against Iceland at Euro 2016.

He said that Rooney told each member of the squad to "keep your head up. Look forward."

England have made a positive start to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, and top Group F after four games, and Rashford said he hopes he can make England fans proud of the national team.

"We want to make history in the time we've got," he said. "We know that when people look back on our team, it's the trophies that they are going to judge us on.

"So it's important that we bring pride back to our country. We know that's what supporters have been waiting for as well."

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