Every word from part two of Ralf's press conference

Friday 25 February 2022 22:30

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick addressed the media ahead of our Premier League clash with Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon (15:00 GMT).

The Reds will once again be aiming to further cement our hopes of a top four finish with victory this weekend, with only 12 domestic games remaining this season.

Rangnick's side head into our clash with the Hornets off the back of a battling 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in midweek. United have now lost only once under the German since his arrival in December last year.

The boss fielded questions on a whole host of topics in part two of his press conference, with special mentions for Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho along the way.

Read every word from Rangnick here...

Part two: Ralf's Watford press conference Video

Part two: Ralf's Watford press conference

Watch the second part of Ralf's media briefing for his take on Dean Henderson, the top four, Marcus Rashford and more...

Hi Ralf, the last game against Watford was Ole’s last game in charge at Manchester United, have you seen a big change since you then came into the club? 
''At the time, it was five defeats out of the last 7 games under Ole and obviously, morale was down confidence was down, therefore it was good that Michael Carrick and his coaching staff achieved two good results in the Premier League and one good away win at Villarreal in order to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League. My job since then was obviously to stabilise the team, to make sure they don’t concede as many goals as they did. I think back then we were conceding almost two goals a game. We have since achieved that, we have not achieved as many goals as they did at the time but as a manager, you always want to progress quicker and this is the next step that in the next few weeks we become more resilient and stable within our performances within games and from one game to another. This is the next step we hopefully can achieve with the team.''

Hi Ralf, David De Gea said earlier this week that he can’t see himself leaving Manchester United having been arguably the club’s best player this season and has been here for 11 years. Can we expect Dean Henderson to leave given the news and that he is soon to be 25?
''These are things that have to be decided in the summer not now. My focus is on the upcoming games and those kind of issues regarding goalkeepers and other players are for the summer. The time will come to speak about this after the season has finished.''

Is tomorrow’s game a must-win game now given Arsenal’s late comeback last night and the games that follow?
''Yes. This would have also been the case even if the result had been a draw yesterday. This is a game we have to win, we want to win and we need to win. No matter what the result was yesterday they also have two games in hand and we also know we play against them in April. There are still enough games but our focus now is on doing our job and we need to make sure we get as many points as we can out of the games we have. We must not take notice of the games around us.''

Hi Ralf, Anthony said in his post-match interview on Wednesday that he studied Jan Oblak so he knew what way to shoot before going on to the pitch. How many players do this and how impressive is it that he did so?
''There have been quite a few players asking for additional information about the next opponent, the goalkeeper or defenders. If Anthony really did that it just shows what kind of professional and character he is. He should get all the credit for that but it’s not just him that does that it’s also the whole team and the performance in the second half made us change the game.''
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On Marcus Rashford, he came off in midweek and following his operation he said he would be fit and pain-free. Is there something going on at the moment as he doesn’t look the player he can be or am I reading too much into it?
''He is definitely not injured. He doesn’t have any issues with his shoulder anymore. We have talked a lot about Marcus in the last couple of weeks and I have personally spoken a lot with him. There is nothing else to add on that, it’s with him like it is with all the other players. If it counts they are on the pitch, starting, as he was against Atletico Madrid and they just have to perform, but I know he is not happy with his performance right now but it doesn’t help if we discuss that every week. We can all make our thoughts as to what it could be but I don’t see any reason why he should not be happy. Our results have been good in the last couple of weeks and months, the team is in good shape. Right now he is trying to find his best possible shape and performance and we are just trying to give him that helping hand with everything we can, showing him video footage and speaking with him regularly. In training, he is in top form and shape and that is why I played him, but now it’s about transforming that performance from training into the league and this is the next step he has to take. By the way, we had a very similar situation with Jadon 6-7 weeks ago and he is the best example about what can happen, it’s the player himself who has to perform and get the best out of his own performance. This is the same for Marcus now.''
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Good afternoon Ralf, prior to the game against Atletico Bruno Fernandes said the team now has identity, can we start to say this side is now a Ralf Rangnick team?
''This is not the most important thing, the most important thing for me is that we develop the team, improve with our performances and in the end hopefully finish fourth in the league and if possible proceed in the Champions League. Both is possible but of course, it will depend on our performances in the next few days and weeks, months. It’s not so much about Ralf Rangnick football, if you come as a manager in the middle of the season without any pre-season without any influence on new players in fact we have lost more players we didn’t bring in any new players, maybe you can describe Anthony Elanga as a new player because he had already made his mind he wanted to leave in the winter. It’s not about how far away we are of my best possible football it’s about developing the team and getting the best out of the team and hopefully at the end in hindsight everyone can say yes it was a good season for us.''

Hi Ralf, just on Marcus and Jadon, can you explain the logic behind Marcus playing on the right and Jadon on the left given Jadon was brought in largely to solve United’s problems on the right?
''Marcus has also played on the right and I remember the game against Arsenal the last game when Michael Carrick was in charge he did well in that game. It is not a question of who plays left or who plays right, Jadon has played well on the left side, some in good partnership with Luke Shaw. At Dortmund, he sometimes played on the left and they can both play each side. This is not the main problem it is for me about how proactive can they play and in the first half at Atletico, we were just too static, too predictable and we made it too easy for Atletico to defend against us. This is what changed in the second half and we did well in the other games, Burnley in the first half, Leeds, Brighton in the second half at home, we have to always learn to be proactive, on the move and difficult for the other team to defend ourselves. This has nothing to do with whether Marcus plays on the left or the right.''