Manchester United’s manager Ralf Rangnick said his team are ‘listening’ to his philosophy ahead of Monday evening’s FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference this afternoon, Rangnick was asked if the squad were buying into his philosophy.
‘They are at least trying. I’m sure they are listening,’ he said.
‘I think we showed in the last games against Palance and Burnley and in parts against Newcastle and Norwich that they’re trying to follow the advice we give. We conceded less goals than before. 0.6 in those games. But it is about balance, we need to find the best possible balance between offence and defence.
‘I can only tell you about the squad, the players, the locker room, the coaching staff. Everybody was very disappointed not only about result but also the performance. We have four days of training before Aston Villa, my job is to make sure we show a different performance.’
Rangnick also responded to questions about dressing room unrest and players wanting to leave.
‘When you have a big squad and only 10 field players can play and three being substituted, you have quite a number of players who don’t play and are not being in the squad.
‘Those players are not happy about that situation, it is clear.
I attempt to explain to the players every two or three weeks why they’re not playing, but I can’t do it every week.
‘We have players’ contracts expiring in summer, one or two wanting to leave.
‘It is up to the players to deal with the situation in a professional way”
‘Every player has opportunity to show up in training.
‘As far as I can tell so far the players are dealing with it in a professional way. If I realise this is not the case I’ll address with players directly.’
Rangnick was also asked about the problem area of midfield and he admitted that there is an area in which United do not have cover.
‘It doesn’t help if there is a profile missing,’ he said.
‘We need to work with the players we have. We have shown we are able to keep clean sheets with these players, but it’s what we’re doing with and without the ball.’