Manchester United failed ‘individually and collectively’, says Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick hit out at Manchester United for their individual and collective failure during a 1-0 defeat against Wolves on Monday night, with the interim manager admitting he cannot guarantee a top-four finish, while Luke Shaw questioned the unity of senior players.

United’s first defeat in the German’s sixth match in charge meant the visitors broke a 42-year sequence without a league win at United due to João Moutinho’s 82nd-minute winner. While it lifted Bruno Lage’s side to eighth, United are only a place higher, four points behind Arsenal in the final Champions League spot. Rangnick said: “We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively. Today we showed similar problems the team had three or four weeks ago before I arrived. It is not an easy job to develop a DNA with and without the ball.”

The 63-year-old was asked if United can finish in the top four. “I cannot make any guarantees,” he said. “Look at today’s performance: if I say we are 100% convinced we will finish in the top four I don’t know if people will believe that. It is about taking the next steps and getting better. I knew this could be hard.

“I knew it would be difficult – that’s the reason why they brought me. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find a balance between offensively and defensively. We didn’t press at all. We tried but we were not able to get into those pressing situations.”

Shaw was scathing, questioning the togetherness of a core of senior players in the XI that included him, Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Raphaël Varane, Bruno Fernandes, and Nemanja Matić.

“Us players [who] we have been here a long time, maybe tonight we struggled,” the defender said.

“I didn’t think we were all there together. You look at the players we have, we have unbelievable quality but sometimes quality is not enough.

“They were miles better in the first half. We let them take control of the game, we weren’t aggressive, we needed to bring more intensity. Maybe we lacked that today. We need to bring the intensity and more motivation.

“Inside the dressing room we know what we want but out on the pitch we need to give 100%. To win these types of games we all need to be 100% committed. It is tough and disappointing.”

Rangnick was noticeably booed when he removed Mason Greenwood in the second half. “The question was shall I take off Mason or shall I take off Edi [Cavani],” he said. “We decided to keep Edi as the more offensive. “It shows how high the fans like Mason as a homegrown player. His effort and performance was not outstanding but he was one of the better players today,” he said.

Moutinho, who celebrated his goal in the style of Bebeto, said: “I have a baby that is three months old and the goal is for my wife and two daughters. I had to wait nine months and three months more to be able to do this celebration.”