Ralf Rangnick has claimed that his Manchester United players have been left confused by their struggles this season.
Despite finishing as runners-up in the Premier League last year, United's flops have endured a rotten campaign and now look certain to miss out on a top-four finish. Rangnick was appointed as the club's interim boss after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the boot back in November, but he's been unable to improve things on the pitch.
United confirmed the appointment of Ajax chief Erik ten Hag as their new manager last week – but the Dutchman has a huge job on his handS to get the club firing again. However, Rangnick has insisted that United's recent performances have been better than results suggest, with the German claiming that his players are "looking for reasons" as to why results have been so bad.
Rangnick also denied that he'd prepared a dossier of United's squad for Ten Hag ahead of his arrival. He told Sky Sports: "This is completely false, completely untrue. The board has never asked me to prepare a dossier, neither for the board nor for Erik [ten Hag]. This is completely untrue and I also never said anything to anybody criticising the attitude of the players being unprofessional or selfish or whatever. It's not true.
"I will always protect my players and I have never realised any issues with being not professional or selfish. It's obvious that in moments like this, players are looking for reasons why the results haven't been as good as they were, in the last couple of games, as they should have been.
"I have been talking to the board quite regularly in the past and of course we were also exchanging our impressions of the current situation. But for me, it is important that together with Erik, together with the scouting department, we can build a new squad and a new group of players with quality and mentality. And then Erik, together with his coaching staff, will develop and lead this club into a range where we should be, where the supporters would want to see Manchester United."
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Rangnick's interim spell is set to end in the coming weeks, with just a handful of league fixtures remaining before the end of the season. The ex-RB Leipzig boss is set to transition into a consultancy role at the end of the season – if the move is given the green light by Ten Hag.
But while Rangnick has admitted that he hasn't had a chance to speak with United's new boss yet, he insists that he is more than happy to speak with the Ajax man once the season is done.
He added: "So far I haven't been able to speak to Erik because his focus is on Ajax and my focus is on here. But I suppose that if you would like to have that, it will happen in the next few weeks when the season has finished. I'm definitely looking forward to that and definitely think it would make sense. But again, in the end, Erik is the manager next season and if you would like to get my opinion or hear something about how I assess the current situation, I'm more than happy to speak to him."
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