HomePremier LeagueNot building team spirit at United the biggest disappointment, says Rangnick

Not building team spirit at United the biggest disappointment, says Rangnick

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Everton v Manchester United – Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain – April 9, 2022 Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick before the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) – Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s biggest disappointment during his tenure at Old Trafford was that the club failed to create a team spirit, the German said ahead of their final Premier League game at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Rangnick’s team are sixth in the league on 58 points, two points above seventh-placed West Ham United, and they need a win at Selhurst Park to be certain of securing a place in next season’s Europa League.

Rangnick, who will lead the team for the last time on Sunday before Erik ten Hag takes over next season, said United lost confidence after being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in the last 16.

“Until then we had stabilised the team,” Rangnick told reporters on Friday. “Until then were much more stable defensively.

“Since Atletico, we just didn’t find our shape, form again. It has got to do with confidence, team spirit and togetherness.

“This is my biggest disappointment that we didn’t establish that team spirit.”

The German, who will move into a consultancy role next season, said he had been in touch with new manager Ten Hag. British media reported that Ten Hag was expected to attend Sunday’s game.

“We have been in contact on WhatsApp. Hopefully we will have the chance to speak and meet in person at the weekend, or Monday at the latest,” Rangnick said.

Asked about the club’s future, Rangnick said he was confident the club could turn round their fortunes by signing the right players in the coming transfer windows.

“I still strongly believe that there is a core of players who are top, good enough to play for this club,” he said.

“If we bring in the right players, mentality players, I am positive we will be able to bring this club back to the top. Maybe this is not possible in one transfer window, but next two or three,” he added.

Rangnick said there were doubts over the availability of some players for Sunday’s game, with Jadon Sancho and Phil Jones withdrawing from training sessions.

Luke Shaw might not train again before Sunday’s game after his partner gave birth to their second child, the manager added.

United will finish the campaign with their lowest points total in the Premier League era, regardless of whether they beat Palace.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)