Ralph Rangnick believes Manchester United’s injury record is a “problem to take care of in the future” as the interim manager heads to Liverpool without five key players.
Tuesday’s game at Anfield sees Jurgen Klopp’s men attempt to extend their lead in the Premier League as the Red Devils look to inject more life into their potential in the top four.
United head into the game after their unconvincing 3-2 win over bottom club Norwich on Saturday, without Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Fred, Scott McTominay and Edinson Cavani through injury.
The five will be absent again at Anfield and Rangnick says injuries are one of the things the struggling club needs to improve their progress forward.
“Well, a few things have happened (since I arrived) – we also have to be honest with that,” said the United’s interim boss, who can call Bruno Fernandes despite his car crash on Monday.
“We lost some players that we shouldn’t have lost. I talked about that last week considering the type of offensive players we have against West Ham (in January), which substitutions I can make in the last 15 minutes. Three of them are no longer injured here or Constantly injured.
“We lost a few other players. At the moment we have some injury issues with important players who should normally be in the starting line-up, but again, that’s not an excuse nor an excuse. Things happen.
“This is also an issue that worries me a little bit, the number of infections we currently have.
“(Manchester United’s injury record) is also an issue that needs to be taken care of in the future, to analyze why that is, why is that happening?”
– Ralph Rangnick
“If you compare that with Liverpool, even though they are still competing in four competitions, I think they have no injury issues at all.
“We only play in the Premier League and we have five or six injured players.
“This is also an issue that you need to pay attention to in the future, to analyze why this is, why is this happening?
“But, again, for us now it’s about traveling to Liverpool tomorrow, he showed the best performance we can give on the pitch.
“That’s what I expect from all the players involved (on Tuesday), that we are good enough and we want to win the game.”
Fred could miss three crucial matches or break in the top four (Zac Goodwin/PA)
United’s injury record is further complicated by the fixture schedule.
The PA news agency understands that Rangnick was not happy to see the progress of next Thursday’s game against Chelsea after Thomas Tuchel’s men reached the FA Cup Final.
The club is believed to have spoken to the Premier League about the decision – one that leaves a huge hole in their schedule, and they now face Liverpool, Arsenal and the Blues in a 10-day period.
Fred may be absent from those crucial three games in the top four race for a club that has failed to launch a sustainable title challenge since winning the league for the last time in 2013.
Manchester City and Liverpool are in a different layer of the atmosphere at the moment, but Rangnick believes the gap can be bridged with joint thinking and recruiting.
Rangnick says it’s “very clear what needs to change” at Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)
He said about the work required to get United to fight for the league.
“We talked about Liverpool earlier, how long it took them.
“After two or three windows, if you know what to look for – I mean, if you don’t know what to always look for in a haystack – if you know what kind of football you want to play, what kind of profiles for each position, It’s about finding them, not just finding them but convincing them to come.
“Liverpool at the time they finished eighth. The following year they didn’t play (European) football at all, so Jurgen’s entire second season focus was on the Premier League and the National Cup competitions.
“Then it took, I don’t know, two transfer windows. But even in the other transfer windows that came later, they did a lot of very good transfers and engagements. And that’s all about it.
“It’s not that complicated, it’s not rocket science but in order to get the best winds possible you need to know where your destination is.
“If you don’t know it, it’s always difficult.”
When asked if United aren’t getting things right if there can be a 30-year drought like Liverpool, Rangnick replied: “What do you mean? Untitled?”
“I’m assuming that’s not going to happen because it’s pretty clear what needs to change and that the future has to be rebuilt, so I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s involvement in the foreseeable future is unclear after he and partner Georgina Rodriguez, who were expecting twins, announced Monday evening that their son had tragically passed away.
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