'The players are asking for additional information'

Friday 25 February 2022 22:30

Ralf Rangnick has revealed his Manchester United players are increasingly asking for additional information on the opposition, in a concentrated effort to create marginal gains.

This theme was brought up during the second part of the German’s press conference on Friday, after Anthony Elanga admitted this week that he had studied Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. 

The young Sweden Under-21 international became our star of the show in Spain when stepping off the bench to score an all-important equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Diego Simeone’s side. 

Elanga was played through on goal by Bruno Fernandes and, when faced by one of the world’s best goalkeepers, in the pressure cooker of the Champions League, he rose to the challenge in style. 
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...

When speaking to club reporter Stewart Gardner after the final whistle, Anthony admitted his pre-match research on Oblak had helped him when it came to making a split-second decision. 

“It was my first touch of the game and I always do my homework when I am playing against other teams, so I watched that he doesn't really like that side,” said Elanga.

“He comes out and leaves a huge space for me, and of course in that moment, it is my first touch of the game, I have still got to be composed and calm and relaxed. I was able to slot it in and see the space. Happy days!”
Elanga’s research became a line of questioning in the second part of Rangnick’s press conference on Friday, when Ralf stated the young striker is not the only player studying the opposition. 

“They’re have been quite a few players asking for additional information about the next opponent, the goalkeeper or defenders,” said Ralf.

“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. The performance in the second half made us change the game.”

The Reds have been preparing diligently for Saturday’s Premier League match against Watford at Old Trafford, which will not be broadcast live on TV in the UK. Fans can follow live updates via ManUtd.com and the United App, and listen to live radio commentary on MUTV.