Manchester United must focus on improving as a team and not place too much emphasis on individual performances as they seek a turnaround in form, their interim manager Ralf Rangnick said ahead of Thursday’s Premier League game at home to Burnley.
United could only manage a 1-1 draw after being outplayed at second-bottom Newcastle United on Monday, with centre backs Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane widely criticised.
“Raphael hasn’t played for five or six weeks… yes, he made a mistake before the first goal that we conceded, but apart from that I think he was okay.
I wouldn’t say he was outstanding, and the same with Harry, but they did okay,” Rangnick told reporters on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it makes sense to speak about the individual performance of players, we need to get better as a team.”
The German added that he had not made the kind of impact he would have liked since taking over at the end of November due to the Covid-19 situation at the club in recent weeks.
Asked whether he was satisfied with United’s progress, Rangnick said: “Of course not.
Every ambitious coach, and there’s no difference between other coaches and myself in that area, wants to take faster steps and larger steps forward.”
In order to do that you need to be able to train and, as you know, we had to close Carrington (training ground) for four days… (the Newcastle game) was a negative surprise, the way we played with regards to game speed, game tempo and physicality.”
United centre back Victor Lindelof will miss the Burnley game due to Covid-19 while midfielder Bruno Fernandes is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season at Newcastle.
Manchester United, unbeaten under Rangnick with two wins and two draws, are seventh in the standings with 28 points from 17 games, seven points off fourth-placed Arsenal but with two games in hand.
Third-bottom Burnley have 11 points from 15 matches, two points behind Watford in the safety zone but with two games in hand.