Ralf Rangnick insists Manchester United’s players are ‘trying’ to buy into his ideas despite reports of unrest within the dressing room.
The media this week has been reporting over unrest amongst the Manchester United squad, with sections of the dressing room reportedly unhappy with Rangnick’s methods and the calibre of his coaching team.
United were beaten at home by Wolves on Monday evening to increase the negative atmosphere at the club and Rangnick admits the squad were left ‘very disappointed’ following a poor performance at Old Trafford.
“I can only tell you about the squad,” Rangnick said at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Aston Villa.
“Obviously, I don’t know about the atmosphere inside the club, the players, locker room, coaching staff, everybody was very disappointed after the game, the performance. Now we have four days of training, yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow before the Aston Villa game, and our job is to show a different performance against Aston Villa.”
The German addressed reports of a reluctance from some players to buy into his methods, amid suggestions that his role as interim manager had made his position more challenging.
Rangnick refuted those reports, however, and says his players are ‘trying’ to improve as the Red Devils look for greater balance and consistency in their performances.
“They’re at least trying, I’m sure they are listening, and we showed that in the last games against Palace, Burnley, and parts against Norwich and Newcastle they are trying to follow the advice I give them,” he said.
“We concede fewer goals than before, an average of 1.7 per game that we have conceded so far – 0.6 in those games. Yes, still, it’s about balance. We need to find the best possible balance between offence and defence, and this is something we have to get better at.
“All the players were disappointed and frustrated, like myself. In the first-half we didn’t get hold of the build up of Wolves, second-half was better, we didn’t score, we conceded 10 mins from time. It’s a question of balance, offence and defence. Offensively, we have quality, but we have to show the best possible balance.”
The 63-year-old also discussed dealing with the frustration of fringe players, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson and Jesse Lingard amongst those understood to be keen to leave in search of regular first-team football.
“This is not only an issue with a club like Manchester United. When you have a big squad, in the last two games, we had most of the players available. We had three centre-backs missing against Wolves. In general, we had most of the players available, apart from Paul Pogba and 10 few players can play, three subbed, then you have quite a number of players who don’t even play or not even in the squad.
“Those players are unhappy about the situation, it’s obvious, clear. I tend to explain to players every two or three weeks why they are not playing and that is an issue in our team and other clubs.”
“We have players with contracts expiring in the summer. We also have one or two more people who want to leave and are under contract. It’s about the players dealing with that in a professional way, showing up in training, showing up, getting a chance to play. If this is not the case, the player, club, and agents need to discuss the situation. I cannot say to anyone else. I will address that to the players directly.”