Every word from Ralf's press conference

Friday 10 December 2021 13:28

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick previewed our Premier League clash with Norwich City in Friday's pre-match press conference.

The German faced journalists for a remote press conference on Friday afternoon to speak about the upcoming trip to Carrow Road to take on Dean Smith's side.

Ahead of Saturday's clash with the the Canaries, Rangnick was asked about where the squad is in terms of injuries, how he would summarise his first days at United and Paul Pogba's recovery.

The second part of the press conference is embargoed until 22:30 GMT but he offered some long and interesting answers during the first part, as you can read below...

Norwich v United: Rangnick's press conference Video

Norwich v United: Rangnick's press conference

Watch the press conference to see how Ralf answers questions on squad strength, goalkeepers, Pogba and more...

Hi Ralf, hope you are okay. Could you just tell us, having left an entire team out on Wednesday, is the intention to bring them all back in again tomorrow and what kind of training have you had this week?
"Yeah, we trained in two different groups before the game on Wednesday. We trained with the team against Young Boys in detail to prepare them for the game. The other group that played against [Crystal] Palace, they had a day off on Tuesday and started to prepare for the game tomorrow on Wednesday, Thursday and obviously today was the last day of preparation of the game."

Can I just ask if there are any fresh injury or illness concerns, I know Aaron Wan-Bissaka had a couple of knocks, any other problems?
"Yeah, we have two or three question marks behind players, but since they haven't shown up as yet, we only train at two o'clock, we have to wait until after the training session, or at least before the training session, and the Doctor and medical department can tell me what the current situation is like. Aaron, as you said, received one or two knocks in the game, there is still a question mark behind Nemanja Matic, he had sort of a cold, I wouldn't call it a 'flu but he was negatively tested with COVID, so I am still hoping he can be available, but we have to wait until we see how he feels today."

Hello Ralf, thank you for your time. I was wondering about Paul Pogba. By the time he's fit to play, you will have a team playing in your image, playing the way you want them to play. How hard will it be for him to get into the starting line-up and what's your message to him?
"We spoke on the phone two days ago, no I think it was on Tuesday... He's still in Dubai and is due to come back today and then we'll get to know each other in person on Sunday but we had a telephone call for about 10-15 minutes. He told me that he was getting better but obviously not being fully fit. From what I've heard so far, it'll take another couple of weeks until he's fit for training again. Then, of course, he has been out for quite some time. I suppose it will take him another couple of weeks to get him match fit but in the first instance it's important for him to become fully fit, to be able to train with the rest of the group and then we have to develop him physically and tactically to be also fit to play in the Premier League."

Hello Ralf, could you sum up your first seven days, what have been the main challenges that you've faced?
"In the first instance, it was about getting to know the players. As you know we had 45 minutes of training before the game vs Crystal Palace then obviously we went through quite a lot of video footage with them, to tell them how to play. As we all saw, they did well in that game, not everything was perfect but quite a few things worked well, we were always on the front foot and we had control on the game. Now it's about taking the next steps, it's a lot about trying to be on field, we don't have that many training sessions, this week we had a few but with the full group, we always had a couple of players from the U19s and U21s to train with us. But it's now about taking the next steps. I think the basis of what we showed against Crystal Palace was good, we didn't allow them to score, we didn't allow them too many opportunities. We had a clean sheet. This is again the ambition we have now we have Norwich away. They have improved since they changed managers. They are a little bit more direct, a little more vertical than they were under Daniel Farke. It will be a challenge to play at Carrow Road but we want to improve our performance, build on what we showed against Crystal Palace and then hopefully get the next win tomorrow."

Rangnick's conversation with Pogba Video

Rangnick's conversation with Pogba

When asked about Paul Pogba, Ralf revealed he has been in contact with the Frenchman...

Hi Ralf, it was reported this week that you had a decision to make over your goalkeeper options. Obviously, we saw Henderson on Wedensday night, so what are your thoughts there?
"I mean, we have quite a few top goalkeepers. and we could also see that against Young Boys, both goalkeepers did well who played. With David De Gea, we have a top goalkeeper as no.1, so this is a position where we have minimum three, if not four or five good goalkeepers. We will see what the situation will be like in the winter. There might be one or two of them wanting to go on loan somewhere but on the other hand we also have to bear in mind that there's three competitions in the next six months, FA Cup, Premier League and the Champions League. We definitely need three top goalkeepers in order to make up for a player being injured or suspended."

Ralf have you had long enough to assess your squad of players now, to know if you need to do transfer business in January?
"I've got to know them better obviously in this week, I saw most of them play in the two games and had minimum three or four or five training sessions but it's still too early to speak about what might happen in the winter transfer window. If I look at the number of players we have it's still a big squad, we definitely do not have not enough players but we also need to make sure that players want to stay here, if they're not getting enough game time here, it might make sense to speak individually with the players and see if a loan deal might make sense but right now it's too early to speak about that."