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Ralf Rangnick vows to ‘change everything for the better’ at Manchester United

Everton v Manchester United – Premier League – Goodison Park
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Ralf Rangnick is determined to end his interim reign on a positive note before trying to help Manchester United “change everything for the better” in his consultancy role.

A season that started with hope and expectation is hurtling towards a poor conclusion, with the stuttering Red Devils hosting Chelsea on Thursday night looking to avoid a third straight defeat.

Hopes of sealing Champions League football next season were all but extinguished with last week’s defeats at Liverpool and Arsenal, leaving sixth-placed United six points behind the Gunners in the final qualification berth.

Rangnick knows a top-four finish is unrealistic but he wants to end the season strongly, even if Europa League or Europa Conference League qualification may slow their rate of improvement under new boss Erik ten Hag.

“It could be an advantage (missing out on European football) but that does not mean that we will give away any of the remaining four games,” he said.

“For us it’s clear and this is our obligation, this is our job, my job, the job of the players that we try to get the best possible results and then we will see at the end of the season in which position we will finish.

“But now to speak about ‘would it be an advantage or not?’ doesn’t make sense because if I did that then this would be interpreted again.

“For me, it’s important that we get results, that we play as good as we possibly can because this will also affect the atmosphere and mood for the new season.”

Ralf Rangnick looks unlikely to secure a Champions League spot for Manchester United next season

Ralf Rangnick looks unlikely to secure a Champions League spot for Manchester United next season (Martin Rickett/PA)

Rangnick starts a two-year consultancy role at the end of the campaign but has repeatedly admitted the make-up of the position remains unclear.

The 63-year-old expects to find out more in the coming weeks and he wants to help Ten Hag and United in any way he can.

“Yes I will be (here next season),” he said. “I’m looking forward to working in that advisory role and obviously help Erik as much as he wants it himself.

“So far we haven’t been able to speak with each other and we have had no contact – he has his focus on Ajax, I have my focus on Manchester United here.

“But obviously I’m more than willing and prepared to help both Erik and whomever in the club in order to change everything for the better.”

From recruitment to structure and personnel, there is plenty to change at United.

The leadership within the dressing room is another topic of debate and Rangnick was asked whether he would recommend to Ten Hag that under-fire Harry Maguire remains as captain.

“I understand your question but again I think it doesn’t make sense because we all don’t know what kind of players will be here, what the group will look like,” the interim manager said.

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“I can only tell you what I have done in the past when I was head coach or manager because in Germany it’s called ‘Mannschaftskapitan’ – the captain of the team.

“I strongly believe that the captain should be elected by the team because he’s called the team manager and we always did that.

“We always had the board, the group of four or five players – we called it the ‘Spielerrat’ [players’ council] elected by the players.

“The player with the highest amount of votes was the team captain at the end. That’s how I did it.

“I know that not a lot of head coaches do it that way. That’s what I would do if I was still the manager next season but in the end I’m not, so this is something that Erik will have to decide.”

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