Ralf Rangnick has admitted recent results have impacted morale at Manchester United but has called on his squad to respond against Chelsea.
United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Thursday evening, looking to bounce back from a run of results that has all but ended their pursuit of Champions League football.
The Red Devils have lost three of their last four Premier League fixtures, including back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, and Rangnick admits those losses have damaged morale within the squad.
“Obviously, if results are not going well and we lost three of the last four games, the morale, energy in the locker room isn’t as good as it would be,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“We have to perform, this is what we’re getting paid for, it’s important for the players, knowing the new manager, to show we are able to beat a team like Chelsea. This is our job, this is what everyone has to do and this is what we have been working for.”
Rangnick provided an update on his squad and confirmed Fred will again be absent for the clash with Chelsea. Harry Maguire – who was left out of the side at Arsenal – has a knee problem, whilst Jadon Sancho will also be missing through illness.
“Fred is unfortunately not yet available, he tried to train yesterday and afterwards I had a conversation with him and with a player like Fred it doesn’t make sense with a muscular injury to play him too early as we would take the risk of re-injury.
“Apart from that, Harry Maguire is not available tomorrow, he has some issues with his knee. He didn’t train yesterday and today. Paul obviously, Fred, Luke Shaw, Jadon is ill – he has had tonsillitis since yesterday, couldn’t train today and won’t be available tomorrow.”