Rangnick: We're very, very close
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick wants his Manchester United team to stick to his game-plan, in order to get the results and rewards we deserve.
The Reds have been left frustrated by 1-1 draws against Middlesbrough and Burnley, particularly as the Emirates FA Cup tie with Boro was then followed by a penalty shoot-out defeat.
Yet there have been encouraging signs that the side is starting to play the way the German is demanding, with much more control and an ability to dominate matches.
In his press conference, ahead of the visit of Southampton on Saturday, the boss insisted the work on the training ground is getting through to the players and there is every reason to expect good performances to turn into positive results.
"How we played in the first half or 70 minutes at Burnley was very, very close to the game-plan that we spoke about and now it's about rewarding ourselves and getting the results that we deserve," he stressed.
"I think the players have realised that there has been a good development in the last couple of weeks, both in and out of possession. They realised that we controlled the game but, then again, if we concede a goal, against Boro it was after 65-70 minutes, we should just stick to the game-plan. Not, all of a sudden, lose shape or lose composure.
"This was the most harmful part of it," he admitted. "We just didn't stick to that game-plan. All of a sudden, we didn't have the same positioning on the pitch, our two 8s were too far outside, this is what we spoke about yesterday and the day before, when we analysed the Burnley game.
"Hopefully, when we have the same amount of opportunities, we score more than one goal, this has to be more effective. But we have to be aware of why we were so dominant. We have to stick to that, all of a sudden, not lose structure, lose shape, it was obvious for some 15-20 minutes against Burnley. It got better at the end of the game, and we had more control, but in those 15 minutes, we lost that shape."