‘It starts in front … and you can talk about the No. 10s’: Strikers Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are named by Ralf Rangnick among Manchester United’s ‘problems’ as the interim boss regrets the lack of progress
- Manchester United were lucky to get away with a point against Newcastle United
- Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick admitted concern over the lack of progress
- He described their stuttering display in St James’ Park as a ‘negative surprise’
- Rangnick chose problems ‘in front’ and with the ‘No 10s’ in his United squad
Ralf Rangnick admits Manchester United have not made as much progress as he would have liked in his first month as interim manager.
Rangnick took over from caretaker manager Michael Carrick in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s dismissal and is undefeated in his first four games.
However, after starting with a promising victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Rangnick has come past Norwich at the bottom of the table and then snatched a draw against second-placed Newcastle.
At a press conference where he picked out topics ‘up front’ and with his ‘No 10s’ – like Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes – Rangnick detailed exactly where he thinks his side is going wrong.
“Our problem was that we allowed too many transition moments,” he said. ‘This is not just a problem for the central defenders, it is a problem for the whole team. It starts up front, it can also be the role of the No. 10s in those kinds of formations.
Ralf Rangnick described Manchester United’s performance in Newcastle as a ‘negative surprise’
United escaped with a 1-1 draw from St James’ Park against a team from below
‘I do not think it makes sense to talk about the players’ individual performances. We need to get better as a team. ‘
The German’s plans have been disrupted by a Covid-19 outburst at United, which has led to the club’s Carrington training base being shut down and two matches canceled.
Asked ahead of Thursday’s home game against Burnley whether he was happy with his early progress at the club, Rangnick replied: ‘Of course not. Every ambitious coach – and there is no difference between other coaches and myself in that area – wants to take faster steps and bigger steps forward.
‘But to do that you have to be able to train and as you know we had to close Carrington for four days. We had eight or nine players in training right after the Norwich match and they only came back in pieces and pieces.
He chose problems with players’ in front ‘and in’ no. 10 ‘position – like Marcus Rashford
The German’s plans have been disrupted by a Covid-19 outburst at Manchester United
‘The last few days we were almost back at full strength in terms of the size of the squad, but we could not do that much in training.
“On the other hand, the team looked good in the two or three training sessions, and therefore the Newcastle match was a bit of a negative surprise, the way we played in terms of playing speed, pace and physique.”
Raphael Varane returned from injury at St James’ Park, but he and captain Harry Maguire were criticized for their performances in central defense as United escaped a 1-1 draw.
Rangnick added: ‘I do not think Rapha has played in the last five or six weeks. He was injured from the Tottenham match. He made a mistake on the first goal we collected, but other than that he was okay.
Bruno Fernandes is another player taking on a role that Rangnick chose as a problem
Harry Maguire (second from right) and Raphael Varane (right) were criticized for their exhibitions
‘I would not say he was excellent and the same with Harry, but I think they did okay.
Edinson Cavani also made his comeback after an injury and came off the bench to score United’s equalizer.
“In fact, for the last two days I have also been considering playing against him from the start,” Rangnick revealed. ‘I talked to him and he did not feel comfortable playing from the beginning. He did not know how fit he really was, but after being 1-0 down at the break, it was clear to me that we should take more risks. We needed to change something, and that’s why we decided to take him and Jadon (Sancho) for a break. ‘