Ralf Rangnick explains what Manchester United coaches have told players to do in second halves



Ralf Rangnick has urged the Manchester United players to stick to the game plan after they were held to another 1-1 draw by Burnley.

United’s 1-1 stalemate at Turf Moor on Tuesday night was identical to their 1-1 draw with Championship side Middlesbrough four days earlier in that they dominated the first-half but only went in 1-0 up at half-time and then struggled to reorganize after they granted.

Since Rangnick took over in early December, United have only scored more than eleven in three of their 12 games but their dominance in first-halves has become more apparent since they switched to a 4-3-3 formation at Aston Villa last month.

“It’s important and the players have also realized that there has been a good development in the last couple of weeks in and out of possession of the ball,” Rangnick said. “They realize we control the game.

“But if we concede a goal, against Middlesbrough it was after 65 or 70 minutes, against Burnley it was 47 minutes, we should just stick to the game plan, not all of a sudden lose shape, lose composure, this was the most harmful part of it, we didn’t just stick to the game plan.

“All of a sudden, we didn’t have the same positioning on the pitch, our two 8s were too far outside and no longer in the center of the pitch and this is what we spoke about yesterday and the day before yesterday when we analyzed the Burnley game.

“Hopefully, we have in the upcoming games the same amount of opportunities to score more than one goal. This is one issue: that we have to be more effective. At the same time, if this does not happen, and the other team scores a goal, we have to be aware of why we were so dominant and why we were in so control of the game in the first-half and stick to that.Not all of a sudden lose composure, lose structure and lose shape.

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“This was obvious for some 15 or 20 minutes against Burnley. It got better at the end of the game, we had more control once again, but in those 15 minutes we lost that shape.”

Harry Maguire was guilty for Burnley’s equalizer and has endured a chastening season after an immaculate European Championship with England.

The United captain only returned to the team last month because of Victor Lindelof’s absence following a break-in at his home while his wife and two sons were present and there have been calls for Maguire to be dropped again.

“I think he had an outstanding game against West Ham, like all the rest of our backline,” Rangnick said of Maguire. “Against Middlesbrough, we didn’t give that many chances away and at Burnley, we could have defended that transitional moment better than we did but in the end, it was a negative chain reaction like goals most teams grant.

“We had a brilliant counter-attack ourselves, the first pass was not the best one but it was still a two-v-two or three-v-three situation and we should’ve got more out of that.

“The rest of our defense was not really good, we should not have allowed this counter-attack to happen, not connecting the players well enough and high enough and we didn’t defend at the end when it was two vs one and we shouldn ‘t have allowed him to go through in that moment, but it can happen.

“Harry was injured, he had a two-and-a-half week injury, he came back, had a very good game against West Ham and I’m pretty sure he can perform at the same kind of level tomorrow against Southampton.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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