After a heartbreaking miss in the Euro 2020 final last year, Marcus Rashford has insisted that he is ready to step up and take a penalty again for England.
Rashford, who came off the bench to score against Iran in England’s opening game, explained that he enjoys big moments and won’t shy away if called upon. In fact, he’s even looking forward to an opportunity to redeem himself from the spot.
“You never want to miss a penalty,” he said. “As an individual, I’ve always been comfortable and I enjoy being in big moments so I’m hoping that we get to take another penalty in the tournament. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Manchester United forward didn’t take long to make an impact in Qatar, scoring after only three touches of the ball against Iran and before the stadium announcer had even informed fans of his substitution onto the field.
“Yeah, that goal’s obviously been good for me,” Rashford added. “I’m just happy to be enjoying my football and not have any injuries or niggles. It’s been good for me to meet back up with the lads after being away from them for such a long time. I feel like I’m getting there and I’m a lot closer than I was for the last year or 18 months.”
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As for the 0-0 draw with the USA on Friday, Rashford believes that the England squad were as disappointed with the result as supporters after being subjected to boos at the full-time whistle.
“It’s not a nice feeling but you don’t need fans to boo us to know we’ve not played as well as we could have. It was a feeling that was mutual in that we could have done better.”
“And it’s not just the players that started. It’s the full group. It’s all of us. You do sometimes question whether you would have changed things in the lead-up to a game but that’s natural because as players you want to win as many games as you can,” he said.
That being said, he points out England’s strong position in Group B as a cause for optimism.
“When you don’t win, it’s disappointing but we can’t be so negative about it. We are in a good position in the group and we just need to go and win that game [against Wales],” he said.
England take on Wales on Tuesday with their passage to the round of 16 all but secured, needing to avoid only a four-goal defeat.