Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has hit back at suggestions from club legend Paul Scholes that the current crop of players aren’t working hard enough on the pitch.
Scholes went on a tirade on BT Sport following Man Utd’s 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Saturday in which he also asserted that Rangnick was a sporting director rather than a head coach.
The former midfielder also dug out the personnel at the German’s disposal, however, and Rangnick leapt to the defence of his squad.
“I think what Paul Scholes said was only one third of what he said – I think he said three different options. I don’t think that the players are not willing to do that, because they don’t like to give away points like the ones they gave away today again,” Rangnick said.
“It was the third game where we were 1-0 up and I don’t think anyone out there should believe that the players don’t care. That they like to experience things like that today consecutively. This is definitely not the case.
“The question is with the group of players we have, how do we get more compact, more aggressive and even more nasty, it’s about defending a lead.
“This is the major issue but it’s not a question of the players not wanting to do that.”
When asked again about United’s need to be ‘nasty’, Rangnick added: “Well, they can be tough but the question is for what period of time and in which moments.
“Again, if I see the game, the goal we conceded today, quite like at Burnley, it’s just too easy. It’s too easy.
“It was not even difficult for Burnley and today for Southampton to score these goals, and against Middlesbrough it was similar.
“If you are being counter-attacked after being 1-0 up, this is also a question of tactical discipline and being aggressive in the decisive moments and just don’t allow the players to go past you.”