Every word from Ralf’s press conference

Friday 08 April 2022 14:44

Manchester United interim manager has met with the media to preview the Reds’ Premier League game away to Everton.

United will make the short journey over to Merseyside for a 12:30 BST kick-off on Saturday, looking to take an important three points in the race for Champions League qualification back down the M62.

Ahead of the weekend’s early game, the German sat down with journalists for his pre-match press conference at Carrington, where he discussed the importance of character this weekend, the latest team news, the search for our next manager and more. 

Catch up with every word of his latest media briefing below… 

Hi Ralf, there's so much talk about numbers and tactics with your Manchester United but how important are character and courage in a game like tomorrow? 
"For tomorrow, it's probably the most important part: character, energy, commitment to winning that game in that atmosphere, which will probably be pretty similar to the one at Leeds, for example. We're all aware of the importance of that game for both sides, both for them it's highly important and for us as well. For me, game-plan and tactics is one thing tomorrow but the other thing, and probably the most important thing, is mentality, attitude, physicality and this will probably decide [it]." 
Part 1: Ralf’s press conference v Everton Video

Part 1: Ralf’s press conference v Everton

In the first part of his media briefing: Rangnick on the manager search, his future role and a good week’s training…

How surprised have you been that you haven't reached the levels of consistency you'd want from your talented players? 
"Well, I was not surprised. I knew that from the start. I think if you see the whole process over the last four or five months, I think we have developed the team in some areas. But as you said, it's all about being consistent and consistency. This is what we have to start tomorrow with the best possible performance and, for tomorrow, it's all about winning that game." 

And in terms of personnel, I think Cristiano, Jesse and Luke were missing last weekend. Are any of those back or what's the situation? 
"Cristiano is back again. Luke is still injured. We had to take him off at half-time and he's having a problem with his leg where he had his operation back in 2015. Yeah, the Doctor told me that they decided to remove the metal things in his leg, that are two bolts that need to be removed and this will happen tomorrow. And that means he will be out for the next two or three weeks. Cavani is still injured. Rapha Varane is still injured, he will be missing out the game tomorrow and the same is true with Scott McTominay, I'm afraid, he's having problems with the sole of his foot. So those four players will be missing." 
What's your assessment of [Erik] ten Hag's managerial qualities? 
"Well, I think this is the press conference for tomorrow's game and I don't intend to speak about any new managers here. As far as I know, all the managers that the club has spoken with so far are all top managers, top coaches. If this includes Erik ten Hag, it's also true with him. That's all that I can say at this stage. For me, it's about preparing the team for tomorrow's game and for three points tomorrow." 

You've spoken before about your overarching role at the club, have you been consulted at all during this process? 
"Well, I know with which coaches they have spoken, so far, and that's why I can say all the coaches they have spoken to, so far, are top coaches, but again my focus is on tomorrow, the game tomorrow, and then the upcoming games, after tomorrow's game." 
Training highlights: Slow-mo shooting Video

Training highlights: Slow-mo shooting

See some ice-cold finishing from the likes of Sancho, Mata and Hannibal in Thursday’s edit from Carrington…

And your own future has been spoken about this week as well, have you got plans yet, do you know what your career looks like after this summer? 
"Well, as you know, we have agreed upon a contract as an advisor, we will speak about that in the next couple of weeks I'm pretty sure, at the latest at the end of the season, but again, right now my full focus is on tomorrow." 

Ralf, you've talked a lot about balance and trying to find that balance between the attacking side and defensive side. Why do you think it's been so difficult to achieve that? 
"Well, it's got to do with the kind of players that we have available. As you know we have quite a few strikers missing in the last weeks and months and, in the game like against Leicester when, on top of that, we also have Ronaldo not available, then we only had two or three strikers in the squad. That's one reason, and the other reason is obviously the focus. In the first couple of weeks, we put more focus on being more stable defensively, conceding not that many goals, which we did, and then at one stage we also found out that we need a plan in possession of the ball to create chances ourselves. And we improved in that area, and then, as I said, a few players were missing out, and right now it's about getting both together, bringing both parts together: what are we going to do in possession of the ball and still being aggressive and compact against the ball." 
Rangnick quizzed on manager search Video

Rangnick quizzed on manager search

In the press conference, Ralf was asked about Erik ten Hag and his own future as a consultant...

You face Everton tomorrow, clearly you're now in a fight for top four, they're fighting to stay in the Premier League. Two big clubs not where they expected to be at the start of the season. Is it a reminder that in football things aren't a given? 
"I think we spoke about that in recent press conferences, pre and post-match, that [this] happens in football, not only in England, also in other leagues, but for us again, it's about being aware of the current situation. We still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League but in order to do that we need to win and we definitely need to win the game tomorrow." 

You also spoke recently about Manchester City and Liverpool and what you think they've done well and what this club can learn from them, do you think that gap can be breached relatively quickly or if you think it'll take a long time? 

"I think I also answered that question last week already. Obviously, this is possible, it also happened with some of those clubs and other clubs. But again, it doesn't make sense to speak about that right now because it doesn't help us to win points tomorrow, right now it's present tense, it's Goodison Park tomorrow at 12:30pm, highly important game for two big clubs and it's up to us to show that we can and want to win every game.”