Ralf Rangnick admits he could have done better during his interim period as Manchester United manager. Rangnick will take charge of United for the 29th and final time against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday and he has achieved only 11 wins since he took over on December 3.
The 63-year-old has agreed to take over as coach of the Austria national team in a dual role with his two-year consultancy agreement with United. Rangnick has already exchanged WhatsApp messages with incoming United manager Erik ten Hag and, despite managing 81 matches in the decade prior to his appointment by United, is disappointed by his return.
“I can only answer the questions that he has,” Rangnick said of his upcoming meeting in person with Ten Hag. “I don’t need to be brutal [in my assessments]. Obviously, I made this experience and it is still an experience I would not want to miss. I know that, as a manager you always want to win more games than lose.
READ MORE: Rangnick holds talks with Ten Hag
“My last two tenures with Leipzig we had an average of 2.0 points per game, we finished third and second in those two periods. Here, unfortunately, although we were on a positive pathway in the first three or four months, we could not keep that permanently and that’s why I’m absolutely disappointed.
“We could all have done better, including myself, we all have to be as self-critical as we can be, but we didn’t and now it’s about taking and drawing the right conclusions from what happened and then make sure the club develops into the areas where they should be and where the fans and supporters are expecting Manchester United to be.”
Rangnick admitted he would have relished a warm-weather training camp in January but United suffered a Covid outbreak in their squad just before Christmas and the German alluded to the number of unvaccinated players who would have been denied entry into certain countries.
Ten Hag will officially start as United manager next week and the squad is due to fly to Bangkok for the start of their pre-season tour on July 8.
“It is not so much about advising him what he should do in pre-season and training weeks,” Rangnick clarified. “Unfortunately, I never had a pre-season with this team. I came in in December, then we had the Covid issues, we didn’t even have a pre-season in those two weeks where we had no games, we couldn’t fly anywhere. There would have been too many players not allowed to fly to Spain, Portugal or Dubai.
“So, I think the good thing is he can work from day one, that he comes at the beginning of the season. We have to be realistic, it is more the exception than the rule that the manager comes at the beginning of a season. I would say 70 per cent of all changes of management, they come in the middle of the season.
“What’s happening in the German Bundesliga is almost an earthquake, I just read Marco Rose had been sacked by Borussia Dortmund, so that was the sixth coach in the last seven days that will be replaced for the new season.
“For Erik, the good thing is he will come at the beginning of the season, he will have some influence on selecting the right players, together with the board and the scouting department, and as I said earlier on, if there is a good thing about that poor season it is that it is pretty obvious in which areas we need to just make sure this improvement can happen.”