Ralf Rangnick is convinced Manchester United players still believe in his methods after Monday’s dire 1-0 defeat to Wolves at Old Trafford.
While the interim manager has only suffered this one defeat in his six games, United’s recent performances have been inconclusive, with his desire to implement a pompous style lacking. Ahead of Aston Villa’s visit to the third round of the FA Cup on Monday, he was asked if the players still agreed with his approach.
“At least they’re trying,” he said. “I’m sure they’re listening and I think we showed that in the last games against [Crystal] Palace, Burnley and in parts against Norwich [all wins] and Newcastle [a draw] that they try to follow the advice I give them.
“We conceded fewer goals than before, that’s 0.6 in six games. But still, it’s about balance, we have to find the best possible balance between attack and defense and this is still something we have to get better at. ”
Rangnick wouldn’t be drawn to reports of turmoil following the Wolves’ defeat. “I can only tell you about the team, of course I don’t know anything about the atmosphere within the club,” he said. “I can only speak about the players, the dressing room, the coaching staff: everyone was very disappointed after the game, about the result and the performance, especially in the first half.
“Now we have four days of training, yesterday, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow for the Aston Villa game and it’s my job, our job, to make sure we show a different performance against Aston Villa.”
He even urged those considering their future to fight for a place. “We have players with contracts that expire in the summer, we may also have one or two players who still want to leave, even if they have a contract. It’s about the players who deal with that situation in a professional way. Everyone has the chance to show in training that they deserve the chance to play, if not, the player should discuss the situation with the club and the agents.
“As far as I can see, the players have dealt with that in a professional manner. I can’t say anyone else. If I realize this isn’t the case, I will address the players directly.”