Part One: Every word from Rangnick's press conference

Friday 04 March 2022 17:15

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick addressed the media ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium (16:30 GMT).

United go into the Premier League clash with Manchester City looking to extend our winning run at the Etihad Stadium to four matches.

Having been held to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford by relegation candidates Watford last Saturday, Rangnick will be hoping that the Reds can find the clinical touch necessary to overcome the league leaders.

The German discussed many topics in the first part of his press conference, from his plans to thwart Pep Guardiola to his future plans for Marcus Rashford.

Read every word from our interim manager here...

Part one: Ralf's derby press conference Video

Part one: Ralf's derby press conference

Watch part one of Rangnick's press conference to preview the 187th Manchester derby...

The chances you have created are more than any other side. Do you think you have a good shout as permanent manager?
"I have no idea and i have made no thoughts on that. My focus is on Sunday, Tottenham and Atletico. I have no time to think about it "

During your unveiling, you said you were open to at least considering it?
"I exactly know what I said. I said with a twinkle in my eye maybe at one stage at the end of the season I might recommend myself to the club in my role as an advisor. It is not the end of the season, and we have another 11 games to play, not only one but a few more Champions League games. Right now, we have enough to do to prepare ourselves for this Sunday and this is where my full my focus is."

It is your first derby, your first meeting with Pep, what are you expecting?
"We know that we are playing one of the best if not the best team in the world, in Europe. They have developed well since he arrived here. The same thing happened when he was at Bayern Munich and at Barcelona, so he is one of the best most influential managers of the last 10, 15 years. We know what type of team, what style of football we are facing and that is why it will be about a lot of tactical discipline. It will be a lot of defensive work necessary, a lot of sprinting, running with the ball against the ball, waiting for transitional moments and then taking our chances. This is what it is all about. We created a lot of chances in our last 10-11 games, and at times we converted them. Against Leeds we scored four goals, but we should have scored more goals especially in the last game against Watford, we should have had one, two, three goals. I would be more worried if we didn't create chances but the way we have been playing and the way that we create those chances was good. Also, against the ball, when the other team is in possession of the ball we were compact and didn't allow them too many chances. That is exactly what we need in the game against Manchester City."

Ralf's squad update for the derby


There's news on Edinson Cavani, after Rangnick gave his pre-match press conference.

Is Edinson Cavani going to be involved on Sunday?
"He is back in training since yesterday. Today was his second training session with the team. It looks good so I think he could at least be part of the group for Sunday. Apart from that we have one or two question marks and we’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow or on Sunday. But Edinson I think will as it stands now will be part of the group.”

Do you think as a club you are getting somewhere near to Manchester City? They seem to have the foundation and structures right. Do you think Manchester United has what it needs in place to get somewhere near to City?
"To be honest I haven't thought about that actually. I don't even know the structure or set up at Manchester City. I know most of the people here in our club, my focus was and still is on developing the current team and getting the best from this season. What is obvious at Liverpool and Man City they have had continuity and consistency on the position of their manager, their head coach for five or six years. They have a clear identity and a clear idea of the way they want to play. I know Jurgen [Klopp] in person and I also know Pep from those three years in Germany when he was head coach at Bayern Munich. He also has a clear idea how he wants to play. This idea is the headline for everything that happens at the club, for recruitment and for players that they will sell. This is the secret behind their success. They exactly know how they want to play, they have a clear identity and this is their guideline for everything they do. Not only for players but also staff members, for experts in different areas of the game. This is what all the top clubs in Europe have in common and this is something that I think at Manchester United needs to be developed and improved over the next couple of years.”

Rangnick: Rashford has everything you need


Ralf says he has faith in Marcus, a derby hero in the past, showing his true form soon.

Would you expect next season and the season after the things that you are putting in place to be adhered to in terms of style of play etc.?
"I don’t know, that would depend on the decision regarding the manager or head coach next season. Every head coach has his own idea of football. For me it is about consistency and continuity at the highest possible level. Of course it’s also quality. I think we all agree that Jurgen and Pep are the two best, or at least in the top five, for me they are the two best coaches on the planet, in Europe for sure. In fact it’s pretty easy in football. You need the best possible people, a clear idea of football and stick to that idea and take your decisions always having in mind what do we want to be, how do we want to play?”

To what extent is it a failure of forward planning at this club that you’re relying on a once-great player, at 37 whose best days are clearly behind him, and it is clear that he is struggling to play 90 minutes week in, week out?
"A few things that happened in the last few months couldn’t have been foreseen. Now with Edinson at least being available for the upcoming games, we have other options. With Marcus Rashford we have another player where I will insist and continuously be behind him and with him, to develop him. We have seen that with other players in the past and I don’t see why this shouldn’t happen with Marcus. He’s got abundant talent, he’s got the pace, the physicality. He’s got everything you need for a modern striker, not only if he is playing from the wing or in the centre. I will put all my energy in that to help him to take the same pathway that other players did in the last three months.”

How involved will you be in the manager selection?
"We haven't spoken about that yet. I’ve been to meetings with the head of scouting and with two other people, but I think you will understand I will not talk about that in detail. But about the managerial position for next season we haven’t spoken yet.”

As someone who has been heavily involved in the strategic planning of football clubs, how difficult is it that the club don’t know the new manager, and the profile to actually plan for this summer ahead. How can the club identify the right profile of player when they don’t know who the manager is going to be?
"So far we haven't spoken about that. To be honest I am the wrong person to whom you address the question right now. My focus is on the upcoming games and getting the best out of the current players and team. All the other things either need to wait or when it is the right time I am here and we can speak about that, but so far we haven't had the time to speak about that.”

In your opinion should this not happen again at a club of this status, a vacuum like this? In your view do you want a situation like this to never happen again?
 "I don't know. I am here for now until the end of the season. For me it is important to develop the players, develop the team. All the other issues will be dealt with at the right moment and at the right time. Of course I’m always there and I will always tell people my opinions. Right now, it has not happened but this does not mean it won't happen in the next days or weeks to come.”

I’m sure you’ve watched Pep Guardiola teams and thought about how you’d play against them in theory. How difficult is it to put that into practice?
"In the end it is about control, controlling the game, about not letting them play and having the ball just without because this is what they're looking for. They’re looking to create an overload of players in half-spaces, even with their goalkeeper playing like a centre-back with at least one of their full-backs playing in a number six midfield position, and playing with a false nine always dropping back into midfield. We are fully aware with the idea of how they play, and for us it is about always finding moments when we can put them under pressure, where we hopefully can take the ball away from them, and hopefully take advantage of those transitional moments. Some teams in the last couple of weeks and months could do that. It is up to us on Sunday to show that we can do that."

Part two of Rangnick's pre-match press conference will be published across our channels at 22:30 GMT on Saturday.