Ralf Rangnick defends Harry Maguire & Raphael Varane from criticism from fans


Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick has admitted that midfielders Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane must increase their game, but insisted that they are not only responsible for the team’s latest match.

Varane returned from ten games out with a hamstring injury to make a costly mistake in the recent 1-1 draw against Newcastle United, during which Maguire was regularly targeted by fans for some unconvincing moments.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting with Burnley, Rangnick did his best to protect his defenders from criticism.

“I mean, I do not think I mean, Raphael has not played in the last five or six weeks and even before the Tottenham game he was injured,” he began (via Sky Sports News).

“So in total the last three months he has not played that many games. Yes, he made a mistake before the first goal we conceded. But other than that I think he was okay. I would not say he was outstanding, and same thing with Harry, but it went well.

“Our problem was, again, that we allowed too many transition moments, and this is not just a problem for the midfielders, it’s a problem for the whole team that it starts from the front. And you can also talk about the role of number 10 in it. the type of formation.

“So I do not think it makes sense to talk about the players’ individual performance. We have to get better as a team.”

Rangnick has yet to taste defeat in the Premier League, but the results under him have not set the world on fire. United saw off Crystal Palace and Norwich with two 1-0 victories, before being drawn in a draw against Newcastle.

The boss accepted that progress has been slow but insisted that Covid-19 has played a role in delaying things.

“Of course not,” he said if he was happy with his work so far. “I mean, [for] every coach, every ambitious coach, there is no difference between other coaches and myself in that, [everyone] wants to take faster steps and bigger steps forward.

“But to do that, you have to be able to train. And as you know, we had to close Carrington for four days. Before that, we had eight or nine fielders in training right after the Norwich game and they just came back in small pieces.

“So during the last three days we were almost back at full strength considering the size of the squad, but we could not do much in training.

“On the other hand, during these two or three training sessions, the team looks good … It was, in Monday’s match, a negative surprise how we played in terms of the game’s speed, pace and physicality.”

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