Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was quick to praise striker Marcus Rashford following his double in Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup win over Jaap Stam’s Reading.

Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial put the Reds two goals up by half-time, before the 19-year-old forward caressed home a third in the second half. He then capitalised on an error by Royals goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi to claim a brace, rounding off a comfortable victory for the club.

Rashford has previously not scored since the 4-1 home win over Leicester City back in September, but Mourinho has explained why the Academy graduate’s contribution outweighs his goals tally.

“The goals for an attacking player are always nice,” the manager told MUTV. “For his confidence it is important he scores these goals but we won against West Ham with his contribution, we won against Middlesbrough with his contribution, and he didn’t score goals.

“I spoke to him at half-time and I told him that I don’t care about the goals he missed in the first half. He had a big responsibility in the way we were breaking down their defensive line, he was playing so well for us so one less goal doesn’t change it for an attacking player.”

Rashford’s second had a stroke of good fortune after his decision to press Al-Habsi forced the former Wigan Atheltic goalkeeper into a mistake, a tactic Mourinho deliberately deployed.

“He’s quick and against these teams we know they play from the back and use the goalkeeper very much,” the boss told us. “You press and you can get things.”

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