Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has warned his players that they will have no choice but to buy into his methods between now and the end of the season.
Famed for his love of a high press, Rangnick is yet to turn United into the all-action side he is looking for, with energy levels in recent poor performances against Newcastle United and Wolves among some of the worst of the campaign to date.
Rangnick has demanded improvement from all his players in all aspects of their performances, but he has now stressed that he is focused on finding which members of his squad are actually willing to buy into his methods.
“This is the only way we can compete in this league and at that level,” Rangnick said (via The Telegraph) when asked whether he believes United have the work ethic needed to implement his methods.
“Whenever you watch games, even if it’s not the top teams, they play with intensity, they play with physicality, they play with energy and they sprint. This is what we have to do. We have to develop into this kind of team.
“As I said after the first game against Crystal Palace, we showed at least in the first half a lot of those things and it’s about implementing this into the team in a sustainable way. This is our job.
“We have to do it together with the players and we have, obviously, to develop the players, identify for each game, the players who are willing and able to do that and to deliver exactly what we spoke about.
“I think most of the players know what they have to do and we also speak to the players. We did it before the training session [on Friday] – what they have to do in each position and what their jobs are, offensively and defensively.
“I’ve only been here now for five weeks. Yes, the pressure is on at a club like Manchester United. I’m pretty sure that the players are aware of that.”
Despite concerns over performances and the general mood in the dressing room at Old Trafford, Rangnick stressed that the important thing is coming together and playing for each other when the lights are on.
“In the end, it’s still about showing up when we play in front of 75,000 and we showed that against Burnley,” he said. “We also showed it against Crystal Palace.
“The team is able to dominate games, to win games. Both games against Burnley and Palace that was the case and this is exactly what we have to achieve in the next weeks to help the team develop into a dominating team. This can only be done in possession and out of possession if they do things together.”