Ralf Rangnick has told his Manchester United players to prove they care and are not reverting to their bad old ways.
The interim manager demanded “passion, emotion and intensity” ahead of Monday’s FA Cup third-round home clash with Aston Villa, and admitted there are players who are unhappy within the Red Devils’ ranks.
A dismal Premier League home defeat to Wolves halted early progress during Rangnick’s reign, and the German boss said on Friday said it was “a step back… maybe a relapse”.
Rangnick inherited the job from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club legend who was sacked once it became clear he could not get the best from United’s talented and costly set of players.
Now that is the challenge for the experienced former RB Leipzig boss, and he has demanded the co-operation of the squad as a whole.
“We have made some progress, but obviously the game against Wolves was a step back, maybe even a relapse to habits the team has shown in the past,” Rangnick said in a news conference.
“We need to insist and emphasise every time that we have to work together.”
He repeatedly pointed to finding a balance between defence and attack, and called for a collective, fiery effort.
“We need to do it with passion, with emotion, with intensity,” Rangnick said.
“This was the problem against Wolves, especially in the first half where we were only escorting them. It was only David de Gea who objected to them going easily to our goal.”
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