Ralf’s pre-match press conference: Every word

Friday 06 May 2022 13:28

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has fielded questions from journalists ahead of our game away to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Reds will make the journey down to the south coast for a teatime kick-off against the Seagulls in the Premier League, in the hope of picking up three points from our penultimate outing of the campaign. 

Prior to the 17:30 BST kick-off at the Amex Stadium, Rangnick spoke to the media at his latest pre-match press conference. 

The 63-year-old was asked for the latest team news and about meeting with Erik ten Hag, the squad’s mentality and Jesse Lingard. 

You can read every word from Ralf on those topics, and more, below…
Part one: Ralf's press conference v Brighton Video

Part one: Ralf's press conference v Brighton

Watch part one of Ralf Rangnick's penultimate pre-match press conference as our interim manager...

Ralf, good afternoon, good to see you. In terms of team news, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, how are we looking this weekend?
"Harry is back in training, he trained the whole week, since the day after or the second day after the Brentford game, he resumed for training. So, he will be available for tomorrow and be part of the group. Edinson [Cavani] is in training, obviously he came on as a sub. Marcus Rashford will be missing, he has caught bronchitis with high temperatures, so he won't be able to be part of the group. We have a question mark behind Eric Bailly, he called the doctor this morning and had some back problems, problems with his back and he's being checked right now. We'll have to see if he will be able to train afterwards."
How tough are these final two games for you as a manger in making sure the mindset is right, making sure you do push those teams around you right to the end?
"Well, I think these last two games, two home games, we got four points against Chelsea and Brentford. We spoke already after the Brentford game that it was one of our best games in possession of the ball and also one of our best games in the last six months. I am positive the team will try to play on the same level tomorrow against Brighton and in two weeks' time against Crystal Palace. Once again, this is our job and what I liked about the game is you could see that they had fun playing together, that they were enjoying themselves on the pitch and this is exactly the kind of approach we need tomorrow as well."

In terms of the future, we've spoken a lot about your thoughts but when do you speak to Ten Hag? When do you offer your opinions to the board? When do you give an overview of where Manchester United are because you've only got two games left?
"We will definitely speak at the end of the season, both Erik and myself want to have our full focus on the outstanding games, he has another three games to play and will obviously do everything to win the league in the Netherlands. We have agreed we will have a chat and speak about everything at the end of the season.”

Rangnick confirms when he'll speak to Ten Hag


Ralf was asked about his upcoming introduction to Erik during his latest pre-match press conference.

You mentioned there it looked like the players were having fun, fun is not a word that has been used a lot around Manchester United this season, do you get the impression that there is a group there who do want to succeed, that do want to improve this situation?
"Well, I think it was visible against Brentford, I think this was not only my subjective opinion, I think you could see they enjoyed themselves on the pitch. This does not mean everything was perfect, but we were controlling the game and with regard to next season, there will be some changes quite obviously because there are quite a few players whose contracts are expiring and I think we spoke about that earlier on with the right, new players to join us here, plus the players who are already here and have longer-term contracts. It's also something that needs to be discussed with Erik and the board, to tell the board with which players he wants to work but I'm positive that with the right new players to add to ours already here, the pathway could be into a very positive one and this is what we will all try to achieve."

You talked about some of the players who are out of contract at the end of the season, one of those is Jesse Lingard, who didn't feature on Monday night. His brother said this week that it was classless not to give him one final game at Old Trafford, I wonder what your reaction was to that and also why he hasn't featured almost at all this year, only four starts across all competitions?
"To start with, I think in the last couple of weeks under my tenure, he has played far more games than he used to before I came. That's to start with. Number two, on gameday against Chelsea, he contacted me in the hotel and asked me to release him from the game and release him from the training session the following day or two days after the Chelsea game for some personal, family reasons and I also allowed him to do that. This was also the reason that with only three subs, still unfortunately, in all the other leagues you have five subs, I had to take a decision between bringing on Edinson Cavani or Jesse Lingard or the young Alejandro Garnacho who I would have also loved to bring on and give a chance having been 3-0 up but I took the decision to bring on Edinson for the very reasons I explained to you. Had I not brought on Edinson Cavani, maybe someone else would have posted: 'it was classless not to bring on Edinson Cavani' or maybe someone else would have posted: 'why didn't the manager bring on the young Alejandro Garnacho?' With only three subs and two already done, or the first one had already been done, you have to take a decision. This will not be to the liking of everybody, it's also part of the game."

Rangnick's team news for Brighton clash


Find out the latest from the United camp in advance of our trip to the Amex Stadium.

The mood has been mentioned a lot this season with Manchester United, but also little things like that from outside the camp, how frustrating and counter-productive has that been?
"To be honest, I'm not reading a lot. I haven't had the time in the last six months to read. I'm not on Instagram as you know, Facebook, I'm not engaged in those areas and my focus has always been here, with my coaching staff to develop the team. It's always, in those days with social media, there's always somebody posting something, and I think it's important for us, anybody at the club not to take too much notice of that, unless it's the player himself, then it might be a different story."

You mentioned Harry Maguire is fit and available, should we expect him to start tomorrow?
"This is a decision I have to make after training today and obviously, I don't want to tell our opponents with which line-up we are going to start but he will definitely be part of the group."