Ralf Rangnick wants Manchester United to be 'pressing monsters'

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  • Manchester United
    Manchester United
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Ralf Rangnick
    Ralf Rangnick
    German association football manager
  • Jürgen Klopp
    German association football player and manager
Ralf Rangnick at Man Utd - Ralf Rangnick wants Manchester United to be 'pressing monsters' - GETTY IMAGES
Ralf Rangnick at Man Utd - Ralf Rangnick wants Manchester United to be 'pressing monsters' - GETTY IMAGES

Ralf Rangnick has targeted turning Manchester United into “pressing monsters” but has warned he will need time like his coaching apprentice, Jurgen Klopp, had at Liverpool.

United’s interim manager, 63, takes charge of his first Premier League game on Sunday against Crystal Palace and has embraced his role by flat-hunting for an apartment in Hale, Cheshire, rather than staying at a hotel like Jose Mourinho.

After agreeing a six-month deal and two-year consultancy, Rangnick admits there is no overnight solution to getting United back into the Champions League places.

“I cannot turn the players we have into the pressing monsters I want them to be within two, three or four weeks,” he said. “You have to be aware of what kind of players you have and where they stand.

“I cannot ask things of them that they can’t deliver right now. I have to take them and accept where they currently are. They are experienced and smart enough to know that.”

When asked to compare his style to Klopp’s “heavy metal” football, Rangnick added: “Well my football is definitely not a slow waltz. I am not that far apart from Jurgen in terms of our ideas about a style of football. That’s no secret.

“But the same happened to Jurgen when he came in the middle of the season and they finished eighth or ninth. Liverpool had a lot of injuries in that time - muscle injuries - because they were not used to that kind of training. So we have to be smart.”

Rangnick hinted he could recommend himself for the permanent job if this season goes well and he is ready to put roots down in Manchester with his search for a new home, in comparison to Mourinho’s decision to stay at The Lowry which invited accusations of a lack of commitment.

Also in the in-tray of Rangnick is a lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been in quarantine after a trip to America. The pair met after United defeated Schalke in 2011, then later at an awards ceremony in Germany four years later.

“I wanted to meet him but he only came back from New York on Thursdsay and has had to stay at home,” said Rangnick. “But I am very much looking forward to meeting him over the next two or three weeks. Darren Fletcher told me he wants to arrange a mutual lunch or dinner with him.

“The important thing is to celebrate the DNA this club still has, but to also implement it into the transformation to modern football.”

Jadon Sancho is expected to be one of the beneficiaries of Rangnick’s appointment. The German tried to sign Sancho while at RB Leipzig before the England forward moved to Borussia Dortmund. Rangnick has forged a reputation of developing youngsters rather than spending during his career.

“The team has, with Mason and Marcus, two players who are homegrown and have come from the youth ranks,” he said. “Jadon I met when he was 17 in London, trying to convince him to come to Leipzig - and yet he decided to go to Dortmund,” said Rangnick.

“It’s about recruitment but also at a club like Man United, with a top academy, we should make sure that every year we have one or two players who are good enough to make it into the first team.”

Rangnick sounded cautious as he plotted the season, starting with Sunday's fixture against Palace.

“I am more than optimistic, but I also have to be realistic,” he said. “Five weeks ago, our team lost 5-0 against Liverpool - and it could have been a lot more if we are honest. Against City it was 2-0 - but it could also have been more.

“It was important to win the point at Chelsea, but the performance? I don’t know. They had 24 shots on goal and we had three. So, right now, to say I will challenge the top Premier League managers in the next few weeks or months, is not realistic.”

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