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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has urged his players to follow the lead of Cristiano Ronaldo and be more direct towards each other.
Ronaldo urged United fans to be patient with Rangnick’s approach in a recent interview with Sky Sports, saying he and his teammates “can do better”.
The 36-year-old added that he does not want to be “in sixth or seventh place” and that he returned to the club “to try to win, to compete.”
United have lost just one of Rangnick’s seven appearances in all competitions, but recent performances have received criticism from both fans and experts, including Monday’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
At a press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Villa in the Premier League, Rangnick said he was delighted to hear Ronaldo’s words, saying he hopes the rest of his players can show the same attitude.
“We have so many top, talented players,” he told reporters. “It brings me back to what Cristiano said – we need to work and develop as a team together, and if it is necessary to speak in a very direct way to the boys, it helps a lot, even in the locker room.
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 3, 2022
“If Cristiano, for example, or one of the other players addresses the players directly on the pitch or in the locker room, they are more than welcome to do so.
“I will do it myself as a coach – and my coaching team in the video before and after the match – but we can only develop individual players if we develop the team’s performance.
“It’s not just Cristiano, we have Edinson [Cavani], we have Harry [Maguire], we have a number of other older players, David de Gea in goal, Victor Lindelof, Bruno [Fernandes].
“We probably have experienced older players who can not only be role models for training, on the pitch and in matches, but also in all the conversations that take place in the locker room or when they are together at the hotel for away matches or home matches. . This must happen.
“In a united team, it happens automatically, and I can only invite and challenge and tell all the players, including the older players, to do it regularly, because it helps even more in a team that we have at the moment.”
The Red Devils are currently in seventh place in the Premier League, 22 points behind leaders Manchester City and six behind West Ham in fourth place, but with two games left over both.