Rangnick: The players are human, not robots
Ralf Rangnick believes a win against Brighton & Hove Albion could prove transformative to the rest of Manchester United's season.
The Reds head into the fixture on the back of three consecutive 1-1 draws, and the German admits that his players' confidence levels have taken a hit.
United have lost just one of our last 12 Premier League games, but our interim manager says that letting leads slip against Burnley and Southampton has been a blow to morale.
Part one of Ralf's press conference: Brighton Video
Part one of Ralf's press conference: Brighton
Watch the first half of Rangnick's press conference, discussing injuries, progression, Jadon Sancho and more...
“Obviously, when you're 1-0 up in three consecutive games and concede an equaliser, this also affects the mind of the players,” explained Ralf.
“They say we should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up and, all of a sudden, it's 1-1. This affects the mindset of players, it's obvious.
“They are human beings not robots.”
The boss revealed that psychologist Sascha Lense had been consulted on the issue, and that the players would be spoken to on a one-to-one basis in a bid to improve game management.
“If you concede, you shouldn't be like we were against Burnley, Boro or Southampton,” Rangnick continued.
“If you concede an early goal [after half-time], everyone can understand this affects the confidence of the players and yes, of course, I spoke with Sascha about that. The only thing we can do is speak to players one by one and as a team, and think about how we score a second or third goal.”
On a more positive note, United are creating enough chances to help us score multiple goals, despite recent frustrations on that front.
United boasted an xG of 2.53 to Southampton's 0.71 last weekend – a stat Ralf referenced post-match – and had over 50 shots across the two preceding games, against Middlesbrough (FA Cup) and Burnley (Premier League).
“Number one is we have to be more effective to score a second and third goal and just kill the game off. This is number one,” said Rangick.
“We create enough chances to do that. But even if this does not happen, just stick to the game-plan, stay solid and tactically disciplined.
“This is the other issue that we have to achieve, and this what I mean by taking the next step.”