Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United’s interim manager, has warned his players that they would be forced to buy into his methods from now until the end of the season.
Rangnick, renowned for his affinity for a strong press, has yet to transform United into the all-action side he desires, with energy levels in recent bad displays against Newcastle United and Wolves among the lowest of the league.
Rangnick has always sought development from all of his players in all facets of their performances, but he has recently stated that he is more concerned with determining whether members of his squad are truly committed to his tactics.
“This is the only way we can compete in this league and at that level,” Rangnick said (via The Telegraph) when asked whether he believes United have the work ethic needed to implement his methods.
“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. This is what we have to do. We have to develop into this kind of team.
“As I said after the first game against Crystal Palace, we showed at least in the first half a lot of those things and it’s about implementing this into the team in a sustainable way. This is our job.
“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.
“I think most of the players know what they have to do and we also speak to the players. We did it before the training session [on Friday] – what they have to do in each position and what their jobs are, offensively and defensively.
“I’ve only been here now for five weeks. Yes, the pressure is on at a club like Manchester United. I’m pretty sure that the players are aware of that.”
Despite concerns about performances and the general atmosphere in the Old Trafford dressing room, Rangnick emphasized the importance of getting together and playing for one another when the lights come on.
“In the end, it’s still about showing up when we play in front of 75,000 and we showed that against Burnley,” he said. “We also showed it against Crystal Palace.
“The team is able to dominate games, to win games. Both games against Burnley and Palace that was the case and this is exactly what we have to achieve in the next weeks to help the team develop into a dominating team. This can only be done in possession and out of possession if they do things together.”