Read every word of Ralf's matchday Q&A

Saturday 07 May 2022 10:00

Only two games remain in Ralf Rangnick's tenure as interim manager of Manchester United, but the German says our upcoming performances will have a big bearing on how we approach next season.

Erik ten Hag will assume the reins from Ralf at the end of 2021/22, of course, but the current boss believes how we finish this campaign can help the Dutchman and the players attack 2022/23 with optimism and confidence.
Ahead of Saturday's Premier League away fixture against Brighton (17:30 BST), our penultimate match, Rangnick sat down to discuss that subject and plenty more.
Read on for the 63-year-old's views on why we played so well in the 3-0 win against Brentford, the “important issue” our recruitment process will need to tackle this summer, his admiration for Graham Potter and Brighton, plus his thoughts on a potentially historic FA Youth Cup final...
Watch Ralf's matchday interview in full Video

Watch Ralf's matchday interview in full

Start matchday right by taking in our exclusive sit-down interview with Ralf Rangnick...

Ralf, did the comfortable win against Brentford serve as a reminder to everybody that, despite some criticism, we have good players here and should be optimistic for the future?
“Yes, absolutely. It was one of our best performances, especially in possession of the ball. We played well and you could see that the players had fun to play together in this game. But it's about consistency, and this is what we lacked in the last weeks and months. We lacked consistency; we didn't always play on that level. And it's also a question of finding the right balance between what we can do on the pitch in possession of the ball, what do the other teams allow us to do, and what kind of defensive stability, physicality, do we need? This will also be an important issue for the recruitment process for the next season.”
We made more passes in that game than any other game in the Premier League this season. Is that significant?
“Yes, but it also had to do with the players we had on the pitch, with Juan Mata, with Nemanja Matic, with Bruno [Fernandes]. So we had three creative, offensive midfielders in midfield on the pitch. And it also had to do with the fact that Brentford allowed us to do that, because we kept them in their half and around their box. Those two reasons were important for that, for our performance.”
There are only two games left now, so how important is it that we finish as strongly as possible?
“Yes, it's important, both for the qualification of the Europa League, but also for creating a good atmosphere for the next season. I think we have to proceed playing like that. We need to get the best performance level in both games. Also in order to convince and to help our fans to get on with next season.”
What's the team news ahead of the trip to the south coast?
“Marcus Rashford will not be able to travel. He has bronchitis with a temperature, so he will not be able to train today and travel with us. There is still a little question mark behind Eric Bailly. He has some back problems. Harry Maguire is available again. Apart from that, we have the players who are still injured.”

Ralf’s pre-match press conference: Every word


Rangnick answers questions on injuries, meeting with Erik Ten Hag and more ahead of Saturday’s game at Brighton.

How tough a test do you think it will be against Brighton? How tough a game will they give you?
“If you look at the most recent results, they won at Tottenham, they won at Arsenal. So they're in good shape; they had a good run. But the same was true with Brentford before we played them. For us, it's important to put our focus on our performance. They play very flexible; they almost change their formation and their shape from one game to the other. So it's not so easy to prepare ourselves in regard to the way they are going to play, so this is why we have to put our focus on our own performance.”
And your thoughts on the job that Graham Potter has done with the Seagulls?
“Amazing. I remember when I was a young student back in the early 1980s, 1980-1981, I studied at Sussex University as a guest student and lived with a host family – who I will meet again tomorrow morning at the hotel, by the way, and have a coffee with them – and they played in the old Goldstone Ground. I watched almost every home game they played in the Goldstone Ground at Hove. Now with their new stadium, their new training centre, they have developed into a completely different club. They have now been continuously developed into a Premier League club who play good football. It's nice and always fun to watch them play. I think the board, together with Graham Potter, it looks like a perfect fit.”

Rangnick's team news for Brighton clash


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

Finally, it's a huge game this Wednesday for the Under-18s in the Youth Cup final, against Nottingham Forest. We're all really excited for it. What advice would you give to the lads ahead of that big game?
“Just enjoy yourselves, like we did against Brentford. They might play in front of 45-50,000, I heard from John Murtough before the press conference, and in a Youth Cup, to play in front of 50,000 at Old Trafford, is massive. It's a fantastic experience and they should just enjoy themselves and not so much be worried if they can and how they can win the game. Just have fun and show everybody how good they are.”
We're encouraging people to still come and buy a ticket if they can. We're up to 55,000 tickets already, with money going to Manchester United Foundation, how impressed are you with that?
“Again, it just shows how many people love this club. How many people identify themselves with this club. This is just amazing, and this is one of those things that I will never forget in my life: having been able to work for a club like this.”