Rangnick aims to improve Manchester United's defensive 'balance'

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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick. (Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP)
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick. (Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP)

Ralf Rangnick on Friday said he wanted to "balance" Manchester United by strengthening the club's leaky defence.

The 63-year-old German's first press conference since being appointed interim manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came after United's see-saw 3-2 win over Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday overseen by caretaker boss Michael Carrick.

Solskjaer was dismissed following a humiliating 4-1 loss at lowly Watford.

"We are talking about six-and-a-half months, one third of the games, and we have agreed on a two-year advisory deal. If Manchester United contacts you for such a role you cannot turn it down," said Rangnick.

"This is one of the biggest clubs, if not the biggest club, in the world. I am excited to work with the players we have here.

"I have watched the latest games, Watford, Chelsea, Arsenal, and I also watched on TV the games against Liverpool and Manchester City."

Rangnick added: "I am well acquainted. It's pretty obvious the team has an abundance of young, talented players and experienced players. The major target for me is to bring more balance into the team.

"Even yesterday (Thursday) we conceded two and needed three to win. We concede on average two a game and this is too much.

"I want to bring more balance and more control. Yesterday's game, for me as the future coach, they are not the games you need. I will try and bring these outstanding, talented players away from their own goal."

Rangnick's deal is set to see him move into a consultancy role at Old Trafford after the end of the current campaign.

As for the possibility he might replace Solskjaer on a permanent basis, Rangnick said: "If we do well and we stabilise, I might even recommend that we keep working with me. This is all hypothetical, we cannot speak about that."

Rangnick added he had tried to persuade former United midfielder Carrick, who announced his departure from the club after Thursday's victory, which left them 10 points adrift of the top three, to stay at Old Trafford.

"I had a conversation with Michael for more than an hour and tried to convince him, but he needed a break and I understand his decision," he said.

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