Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick defends his record amid criticism of recent performances
Speaking before the 4-2 win against Leeds United, as quoted by the Daily Mail, Manchester United interim manager, Ralf Rangnick has hit out at his critics and defended his record so far at the club, after being questioned about his ability to lead the team to a top-four spot this season.
The German took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November last year, after the club went through a poor run of form since the beginning of the current campaign. He was previously working at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow as manager of sports and development.
Of late, Rangnick has faced flak from critics about whether he was the right man for the job but said his focus was currently on getting United into the top four and playing Champions League football next season.
“‘I think if you win two points [per game] on average in the whole season you are probably almost likely finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. Everybody wants to play in the Champions League every season, but we have to be realistic. Other teams have played less games than us.”
The criticism from many was about United’s inability to put up consecutive wins, with the team beginning February with a FA Cup exit to Championship side Middlesbrough and drawing two games on the bounce after taking the lead in both.
Strong on the pitch
Despite recent results, it may be easy for critics to forget that Rangnick has only been beaten only once in the Premier League since the German took over. Unfortunately for the interim head coach, points have been dropped to lower-ranked teams in frustrating draws of late.
However, Rangnick drew attention to the fact that he was constantly in communication with the players and felt that they were strong on the pitch, dominating games. This interview came before Man United’s win against Leeds United, which would do Rangnick a world of good.
“We are dominating games and this is what it’s all about in football. The team’s levels of confidence are raised if they have a feeling of controlling games. I think we did that better since the Wolves game. Speaking regularly to the players, it’s obvious they feel strong on the pitch as a team.”
Rangnick has come in and done a fine job, arresting the number of goals conceded and stopping the number of defeats the club had suffered before his time. However, United seem to be struggling to score more goals, and the attackers are not taking their chances in front of the goal.
Midweek’s result against Brighton will have pleased Rangnick and silenced his critics for a while, but March brings more challenges, with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool fixtures to be played. We rose up to the occasion against Marcelo Bielsa’s Peacocks today.
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Whatever Rangnick said above was visible in our win at Elland Road. Apart from a disastrous two minutes not long after the start of the second half, we were in control of the game and deserved a win.
Currently only the manager of the club till the summer, fans will hope that Rangnick can guide the side to a strong finish by the end of the season. The players will want to play with Europe’s elite next campaign, so they will also need to do their part in following the head coach’s instructions to the T.