Ralf Rangnick is confident Manchester United’s players still believe in his methods after Monday’s dismal 1-0 defeat to Wolves at Old Trafford.
Although the interim manager has only this loss in six games, United’s recent performances have been unconvincing, with his wish to implement a high-pressing style not in evidence. Before Aston Villa’s visit on Monday in the FA Cup third round, he was asked whether the players were still buying into his approach.
“They’re at least trying,” he said. “I’m sure they are listening and I think we showed in the last games against Palace, Burnley and in parts against Norwich [all wins] and Newcastle [draw] that they are trying to follow the advice I give them. We conceded less goals than before – it’s 0.6 in six games.
“But still, it’s about balance, we need to find the best possible balance between offence and defence and this is still something we have to get better on.”
Rangnick would not be drawn on reports of unrest after the Wolves defeat. “I can only tell you about the squad – obviously I don’t know about the atmosphere inside the club,” he said. “I can only speak about the players, locker room, coaching staff: everybody was very disappointed after the game, about the result and the performance, especially in the first half.
“Now we have four days of training, yesterday, today, tomorrow, day after tomorrow before the Aston Villa game and my job, our job, is that we make sure we show a different performance against Aston Villa.”
He even urged those considering their futures to fight for a place. “We have players with contracts expiring in the summer, we have maybe also one or two players who still want to leave although they are under contract.
“It’s about the players dealing with that situation in a professional way. Everyone has the chance to show in training they deserve the chance to play. If this is not the case, the player, together with the club and the agents, need to discuss the situation.
“As far as I can tell the players have been dealing with that in a professional way. I cannot say anyone else. If I realise this is not the case I will address the players directly.” – Guardian