Ralf: I've never considered changing captain

Friday 18 February 2022 13:51

Ralf Rangnick has dismissed media speculation about a change to the team's captain as "nonsense".

Recent reports in the press claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo might be in line to replace Harry Maguire as skipper, but the German quickly moved to dispel the idea in a press conference on Friday.

Speaking to journalists ahead of Sunday's Premier League match with Leeds United (kick-off14:00 GMT), the Reds' interim manager confirmed there would be no change.

“Well, to start with, I must say that this is absolutely nonsense,” began Ralf.

“I have never spoken with any player about a possible change of captaincy and Harry is fully aware of that and so is Cristiano, and all the other players.

“So this has never been an issue for me, it is me who decides the captain and therefore there is no reason to speak about that with any other person.

“Harry is our captain and will stay our captain until the end of the season and there is nothing else to add on to that.”

The 63-year-old went to explain that there had never been an issue, and that the atmosphere in the dressing room had improved during recent weeks, following the January transfer window.

“Well, I'm not frustrated at all because I know that it's not the truth,” claimed Rangnick. “I told you already about Harry being captain, this is not an issue at all and it has never been an issue for us and for myself as the manager.

“All the other things, to be honest, I don't listen to that noise that much because my full focus is on preparing the next training and for the next game. Obviously, I have heard about what is written, I can only tell you from my personal experience in the last 11-12 weeks, yes, there were players unhappy until the closure of the window because, as I always said, the squad was too big.

“We had too many players who just realised that they wouldn't get game time. I think this has improved, for sure, and, from what I can tell you, the atmosphere in the locker room is better than it used to be a couple of weeks ago, for that reasons we just spoke about and, well, all the other things.”

When Harry surprised River with presents Video

When Harry surprised River with presents

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Despite a frustrating run of draws in the last few weeks, United have been beaten just once in 14 games under Rangnick.

Tuesday's 2-0 win over Brighton took the Reds back into the top four, and the boss says it is important that the team ignores gossip and focuses on the things that they can affect.

“As you quite rightly said, for us, it's about performing well, showing togetherness on the pitch, getting the best out of our performance and winning games. This is our job,” he concluded.

“Those are the things we can influence. All the other things, we have no influence upon.”