Harry Maguire salutes Marcus Rashford’s return to form | Football

Marcus Rashford (second left) is back to his best in Qatar (Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Harry Maguire insists England forward Marcus Rashford has ‘shown he belongs on the big stage’ at the World Cup.

Rashford has scored three goals in Qatar, including a brace in the 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday, in one start and two substitute appearances to help his team reach the last 16, where they face Senegal on Sunday.

His Manchester United team-mate Maguire has played his part in helping the ‘wonderful’ 25-year-old rediscover the ‘belief’ that made him such precocious talent at Old Trafford.

‘I am really pleased for Marcus,’ said the centre-back. ‘He has really found his form again for United and he is a massive player for our club.

‘Throughout a long career, you will have ups and downs and it is all about how you bounce back when you are out of form.

‘He has kept working hard and done that tirelessly. I can’t speak highly enough of Marcus. He is a wonderful man and a great player. He showed he belongs on this stage.’

Harry Maguire says he is pleased for his Man United teammate (Picture: Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

Maguire has tried to get Rashford back to his best during a time when he was out of the team for club and country. Following his miss in the penalty shoot-out as England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy, Rashford did not kick a ball again for his country until the opening game of the World Cup in Qatar against Iran.

Maguire added: ‘I speak to him a lot and I try to give him as much belief as I can. But listen, Marcus is a fantastic player who has had a great career up until now.

‘I think this last year has been difficult for him but all good players rise to the top again. Marcus is a fantastic talent and you see it day in, day out when you train with him.

‘It was a matter of time until he got his confidence and form back. You’ve got to bounce back if you want to be successful.’

Senegal await Gareth Southgate’s side, with the England boss saying his players will now need to call on all their major tournament experience as ‘expectation will lift’ that his side can win the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate is confident he can call upon the experience of players who have been to major finals (Picture: Reuters)

The Three Lions stormed into the knockout stages with a superb second-half performance against Wales and qualified as Group B winners.

A peak audience of 18.7 million people watched the Wales match across the BBC’s platforms and hopes of reaching the quarter-finals are sure to go through the roof.

Boss Southgate is confident he can call upon the experience of players who have been to a World Cup semi-final and European Championship final under his management as they possess the know-how when it comes to winning matches at championships. ‘The fact the players are used to games like this is definitely a help,’ he said.

‘They have a good amount of caps, we have had experienced players to come in and the more you’re in these sorts of experiences, the better you are at being able to show the best face of the team. We know what the build-up to the next game will be like, we know the expectation will lift.

‘It is going to be a tough game. It will be similar to the games we’ve had already in this group, the USA one for example, and we are going to have to deal with it.’

MORE : Jack Wilshere sends World Cup warning to Marcus Rashford despite two goals against Wales

MORE : Phil Foden proves Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville right as England rediscover their World Cup mojo

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