Ralf Rangnick regrets slow Man United progress, citing COVID-19 disruption

Ralf Rangnick has said Manchester United have not made as much progress as he had hoped in the first month of his reign.

The German remains unbeaten in four matches as interim coach, but his team were lucky to escape with a 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened Newcastle United on Monday after a horrific performance at St James’ Park.

– Ogden: Rangnick honeymoon period after Newcastle viewing
– Ronaldo to Barca! Spain’s funny stories about ‘The day of the innocent
– Stream ESPN FC daily on ESPN + (US only)
– Do not have ESPN? Get instant access

Rangnick is preparing United for a home game against Burnley on Thursday and although he said progress has been slow, the 63-year-old insists he has been hampered by the COVID-19 outbreak, where the training ground was closed and the matches against Brentford and Brighton exposed.

“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,” he said. “But to do that, you have to be able to train, and as you know, we had to close Carrington for four days.

“The last three 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.”

Rangnick was left with only seven available players at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, but prior to the trip to Newcastle only Paul Pogba was missing, while the midfielder continues his recovery after a muscle injury.

The United coach was impressed with the sessions in the build-up to the Newcastle match and said the slack screen was a shock.

“In the two or three training sessions, the team looked good, so it was really a bit of a negative surprise, the way we played in terms of playing speed and pace and physique,” he added.

Rangnick will be without Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof against Burnley.

Fernandes has been suspended after picking up his fifth reservation of the season against Newcastle, while Lindelof has tested positive for COVID-19. Eric Bailly, who had been given permission to join the Ivory Coast squad ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, has been recalled to the squad as cover.

Both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were left out of the squad at Newcastle despite being available for selection and could return in battle to face Burnley.


Leave a Comment