Ralf Rangnick has provided an update on the fitness of the Manchester United squad and has backed his side to finish the season ‘on a stronger note’.
United conclude their Premier League campaign with a trip to face Crystal Palace this weekend, with the Red Devils still needing to win to secure a top six finish and Europa League qualification.
Rangnick will be hoping his side can bounce back from dismal 4-0 defeat at Brighton last time out and says securing a Europa League place is important for United as the side look to end a disappointing season in positive fashion.
“We once again have quite a few players missing and a few with question marks, quite a few missing,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“Still positive we will have a strong starting XI and finish on a stronger note. Positive players want to get things right. And positive they would much rather play Europa League than Conference League.
“You saw with Frankfurt, finished bottom half of Bundesliga but are now in the Champions League.”
Rangnick revealed there are doubts over several of his side ahead of this weekend’s clash, including both Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho.
“A few are still question marks. Luke Shaw’s wife gave birth to their second baby today, we have to wait and see.
“Today’s training one of two couldn’t finish, Jadon Sancho and Phil Jones.”
🗣 “Hopefully we will have the chance to meet and speak over the weekend.”
Ralf Rangnick says he has been in contact with Erik ten Hag. 📲 pic.twitter.com/o9dKwipCiQ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 20, 2022
Rangnick was asked whether any of the club’s FA Youth Cup winning side could feature at Palace, after the club’s youth side won the competition for the first time in more than a decade last week.
The German suggested Alejandro Garnacho – who scored twice in the final win over Nottingham Forest – could be in contention but the forward has suffered with illness in recent days.
“Unfortunately Alejandro [Garnacho] was ill in the last couple of days. Today his first back, he might be back but not sure if he is physically fit to play.”
Rangnick also confirmed he had been in contact with incoming manager Erik ten Hag, who is set to be in attendance at Selhurst Park.
The interim boss – who will move into a consultancy position at the end of the season – says he is looking forward to getting to know the Dutchman in the coming days.
“We have been in contact, via WhatsApp, hopefully I have chance to meet and speak in person at weekend or Monday morning at latest.
“I am looking forward to speaking to him in person and getting to know him.”