Harry: How we've improved under Ralf
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire feels the team are improving defensively under Ralf Rangnick, but there is more to do in terms of going forward.
The Reds have conceded seven goals across 10 games since the German came in as interim manager, keeping four clean sheets in the process.
It’s a clear improvement from a difficult autumn, which Maguire puts down to the tactics implemented by Ralf and the work ethic among the team as a whole.
Now, after encouraging wins over Brentford and West Ham, Harry is targeting further development with how we use the ball and provide an attacking threat.
“I think there are lots of different principles that he’s brought into the club,” Harry told United Review, the club’s official matchday programme. “But, for sure, we haven’t conceded as many goals, we haven’t conceded as many chances.
“It’s team effort; it’s not a back-four effort, or a goalkeeping effort [alone]. It’s a team effort. Our lives are a little bit easier from the way that they [the midfielders and forwards] are working and covering spaces in front of us, so it’s a huge effort from us all.
“But I think there’s still a lot to improve on, especially with the ball now.
“We’ve got to make sure that we carry a little bit more of a threat with the ball and look after the ball a bit better than we have done in recent weeks.”
United have lost just once so far under Rangnick and the victory over the Hammers prior to the international break moved us into fourth in the Premier League – our highest placing in the table since October.
Maguire acknowledges that, perhaps while overall performances can still improve, the Reds are still going strong in the Champions League and Emirates FA Cup – we face Middlesbrough in the fourth round on Friday night – and there are opportunities to be grasped.
“Yeah. I think the results have been pretty good since the manager’s come in,” the captain added.
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“We’ve had some indifferent performances, but we’ve stuck together and we’ve managed to get good results out of the period. But it’s set us up now.
“We’ve got a crucial period of the season where we need to make sure that the performances are turned out week after week. I always say it, and I’m always a big believer that good performances lead to good results.
“So we’ve got to make sure that we deliver those good performances, and the results will come.”
You can read the full interview with Harry in the Middlesbrough edition of United Review, which is available to order here.
You will also be able to purchase the programme before the game at Old Trafford on Friday. Kick-off is at 20:00 GMT.