Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has launched a fierce defence of his Manchester United players after their attitude and professionalism were called into question
Image: Sky Sports Football/Youtube)
The interim boss responded in the wake of criticism aimed at Man United’s underachieving stars after succumbing to a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal, just days after their 4-0 humbling at the hands of Liverpool.
Mirror Football exclusively revealed Rangnick had put together a dossier of details about his squad to hand to Erik ten Hag, where members were apparently labelled “unprofessional and selfish”. But the German has launched an impassioned defence to shield his players, while admitting that results should be better.
“I will always protect my players and I have never realised any issues with being not professional or selfish,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s obvious that in moments like this, players are looking for reasons why the results haven’t been as good as they were, in the last couple of games, as they should have been.”
Players such as Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire have found themselves under intense scrutiny due to their declining performances this season. And Rangnick, 63, has admitted he has discussed the team’s poor form with the club’s hierarchy: “I have been talking to the board quite regularly in the past and of course we were also exchanging our impressions of the current situation,” he added.
“But for me, it is important that together with Erik, together with the scouting department, we can build a new squad and a new group of players with quality and mentality. And then Erik, together with his coaching staff, will develop and lead this club into a range where we should be, where the supporters would want to see Manchester United.”
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United are currently seventh in the Premier League and their hopes of finishing in the top four are all but over after their successive defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool. It is believed Ten Hag will be given an important role in helping shape his squad for next season with vetoes on transfer decisions.
But Rangnick, who will move into a consultancy role at the end of the season once his spell as interim boss expires, says he is yet to discuss plans with Ten Hag for the summer: “So far I haven’t been able to speak to Erik because his focus is on Ajax and my focus is on here. But I suppose that if you would like to have that, it will happen in the next few weeks when the season has finished,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to that and definitely think it would make sense. But again, in the end, Erik is the manager next season and if he would like to get my opinion or hear something about how I assess the current situation, I’m more than happy to speak to him.”