The Red Devils are looking to finish in the top four of the Premier League but have lost ground in the race.


Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has challenged his players to prove to the media and their supporters that they are not mentally weak.

The Red Devils have been accused of having mentality issues amid another difficult season for the club.

United have lost ground in the race for a top-four finish, having won just one of their last five games in the Premier League and crashed out of the Champions League.

But Rangnick has urged his players to rise to the occasion to have a strong finish to the season.

“[It’s] not only at home we have to show that in the remaining seven games,” he told the club’s website.

“That’s why I called it a test of character; we have to show the supporters and the media and the public that the speculation about a lack of mentality and character is not true.

“Even if I speak about that in the press conferences every week and I tell the journalists that I don’t think this is the case, it doesn’t help the truth because the reality is on the pitch.

“We have to show it on the pitch.”

United are still in contention for a place in the Premier League’s top four.

Tottenham currently occupy the last spot which guarantees a place in next season’s Champions League, sitting six points ahead of Rangnick’s men.

Arsenal are just three behind their north London rivals, while West Ham are level on points with United.

“Mathematically it can happen, but it doesn’t help us at all if we speculate about that,” Rangnick said of their chances of finishing fourth.

“It’s about us winning our own games, that’s the only thing we can influence and we can affect ourselves – our own performance and results. We need to make sure that we start winning games again.

“I said before the game against Leicester that we needed nine points out of the next three games. So far we have one point out of six from Leicester and Everton. So there is no point speculating about whether it’s possible or not.

“Yes, mathematically it might still be possible, but we have to start winning games and we need to do that on Saturday.”

Ralf Rangnick insists he has no regrets about taking the Manchester United job despite their indifferent form under his stewardship.

The Red Devils have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and face a battle to qualify for the Champions League next season.

They go into Saturday’s match against bottom side Norwich in seventh place in the Premier League, six points outside the top four.

Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solksjaer on an interim basis in November and is due to hand over to a permanent successor in the summer before taking up a two-year consultancy role, with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag the frontrunner for the job.

It was hoped his appointment would boost their chances of making the top four, but the German has failed to get the side-firing on a consistent basis, winning just nine of his 22 games in charge.

The fanbase has grown increasingly frustrated as the campaign has progressed, leading to a protest against the club’s owners outside their training ground on Friday, with more protests planned before the Norwich game.

Despite all this turbulence Rangnick insists he does not regret taking the job, though he admits he is not happy with how things have panned out so far.

“No. No regrets whatsoever. I would do it over and over again,” he told reporters.

“I don’t regret that at all. As a manager you always have to question and ask yourself what you could have done better, if I could have played with a different formation in certain games, if a substitution could have been done earlier. This is what always happens we always ask question ourselves what we could have done better.

“I think we are all aware it’s not an easy squad, the whole situation was not easy or I would not be sitting here and Ole would probably still be here. Again, I think we have shown in the past couple of months we were able to raise the level but not in the same sustainable way that I would have wished. That’s the reason I’m not happy at all with what we’ve done and achieved so far.”

Rangnick thinks some of his players may have struggled to cope with the level of expectation, which has resulted in some stuttering performances.

The Red Devils are without a win in three games and slipped to a 1-0 defeat at relegation battlers Everton last weekend.

“I don’t know if this was the case but it might be with one or two or three of our players. It seems to be like that, that the level of expectation is high and some of the players seem to struggle with their own performance with that,” he added.

“But, again there are no alibis and no excuses we have to be ready to cope and deal with it.

“For tomorrow I’m sure and fully aware of that and I’m convinced and very positive that all the players know about this. It’s a test of character and mentality.

“Whatever speculation we have as to what I think or you think was the reason behind the performance at Everton we have to be able to in our house [stadium] beat a team like Norwich and show the best possible performance. But the truth and reality is on the pitch.”


Courtesy: Goal

Facebook Comments