Manchester United suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at home against Wolves earlier this week. There were no signs of Ralf Rangnick’s pressing football on display as the poor performance levels of the last few games continued.
Reports over recent weeks have suggested that the players are unhappy with having to stay later at training and don’t like Rangnick’s higher intensity approach. Most players have kept quiet, although Fred and Marcus Rashford have taken to social media to confirm they are dedicated to the club.
Speaking with the official website, captain Harry Maguire has claimed he feels it’s United against the world but is determined to put things right.
I think it’s always been like that for United players and we have to deal with it. The most important thing for us is the fans, and we are letting them down. But the support at Old Trafford and at away games is unbelievable still.
This team finished second last year and we have a better and bigger squad this year, so we have to show the right attitude. We have big players in the team; leaders. I’m sick of repeating myself but it can’t continue like this – we need to go on a proper run, starting Monday.
We are all angry and want to do our best, which has probably come across on the pitch at times. But the team spirit is good, despite what people say. Being a professional footballer, you have to take criticism on the chin and react well to it. At the same time, you have to ignore the outside noise sometimes and just get your head down [in training]. We know if we can put together a run of results then everything else takes care of itself.
Sometimes it can be good to have the ‘us against the world’ mentality. I know a lot was written about Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams and the way he used that to spur his players on. He obviously did that brilliantly. I’ve obviously seen a lot of criticism, and a lot of is absolutely justified. But for me, with this team, it shouldn’t need criticism to motivate players. If players of this quality aren’t motivated to play for this club when they pull the shirt on, then there’s something wrong.
Maguire has been in poor form so far this season and personally culpable for several goals United have conceded. But as captain, he has taken on responsibility for trying to mend some cracks behind the scenes.
I’m the captain and leader in the dressing room, and I’ve had private conversations with the players and the management which will remain private. Make no mistake about it, I’m here for the fight and I know my team-mates are. I expect them to be and if they’re not then – like I said – there’s something wrong. We have a big squad. Of course, not all players will always be happy as they are not playing but that’s football and we all have to remain professional.
I came here to win titles. I could have signed elsewhere but I wanted to be at United and help get them back to the winning ways that the club had in the Sir Alex era. It will come if we all stay together. I grew up idolising the likes of Wayne, Rio and Vidic and I want to repeat what they achieved. I’m privileged to be captain and I’ve got a responsibility to lead the players and turn things round.