Rangnick insists Man Utd players are adapting to his methodsx
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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has pointed out four areas in which the Red Devils need to catch up to their Premier League rivals. The German has failed to inspire an immediate turnaround since his appointment as interim manager in November.
A painful home defeat to Wolves has been left to fester as the congested festive fixture list finally eases up.
The West Midlands side powered to a convincing 1-0 victory at Old Trafford last week, with fans growing concerned about the lack of spirit shown by United’s stars on the pitch.
That feeling was confirmed by Luke Shaw after the final whistle, with the left-back worryingly stating that he did not feel like a unit with his team-mates against Bruno Lage’s side.
He also called for the manager to bring new ideas, and Rangnick has subsequently been clear about what he demands from his players going forward.
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Four things in particular have been stressed by the 63-year-old as he attempts to steer United back on the course to success.
“Whenever you watch games, even if it’s not the top teams, they play with intensity, they play with physicality, they play with energy and they sprint,” he said.
“This is the only way we can compete in this league and at that level.
“This is what we have to do. We have to develop into this kind of team and it’s about implementing this into the team in a sustainable way. This is our job.
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“We have to do it together with the players and we have, obviously, to develop the players, identify for each game, the players who are willing and able to do that and to deliver exactly what we spoke about.”
Indeed, Rangnick has not been shy about the fact that players have been left frustrated when not picked to start, or even to feature in the matchday squad.
He also called on those players to deal with their disappointment in a professional manner, rather than disrupting the spirit of the dressing room.
After nine games in charge, Rangnick seems to have come to an early verdict on the squad at his disposal, and he will have another chance to rectify the situation against Aston Villa on Monday evening.
Villa are likely to pose a stern test, with Steven Gerrard overseeing a noticable improvement since replacing Dean Smith.
The loan arrival of Philippe Coutinho is also a statement of intent from Gerrard and co., and it will also give Villa’s stars extra incentive to perform and keep their place before the Brazilian joins up with the squad.
When their FA Cup duties are dealt with, Rangnick and United will turn their attention back towards the Premier League and the hunt for fourth.
Currently in seventh place, the Red Devils have ground to make up on those ahead of them, including high-flying Arsenal whose impressive form threatens to leave United with too much work to do.
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