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Ralf Rangnick criticised the fitness of his Manchester United squad (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Ralf Rangnick has questioned the fitness of his Manchester United squad after the side threw away a lead for the third match in a row.

United took the lead against Southampton on Saturday, scoring through Jadon Sancho.

However, Che Adams scored just after the break to equalise and the Saints had a number of chances to win at Old Trafford, with United’s pressing game collapsing after about an hour.

The Red Devils have let leads slip against Burnley, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa in recent weeks and Rangnick believes it’s down to a lack of fitness as they’re unable to carry out his tactical instructions.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League
United have taken the lead and drawn the last three matches (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

‘To be honest, I don’t know if we are not fit enough in order to play that way because, as you said, I came in the middle of the season,’ said Rangnick.

‘We had no pre-season (together) and in essence only maybe two weeks in total in between where we could train in a normal way.

‘If I watched the team in training and the way that it’s being prepared for games, I wouldn’t allow myself to say we are not fit enough to play like that

‘I don’t think that this is the case because then we would also struggle in the last 20 minutes of the game and both against Burnley and (on Saturday) in the game I think we showed that we were physically able to again play forward.

‘We didn’t always take the right decisions, we were not as composed and not structured enough in the way that we played in the first half compared to the last half-hour.

‘We were a little bit erratic in those moments. I would have wished us to stay a bit calmer and cooler but we had the chances.

‘So, I don’t think that this is a question of physicality with regard to fitness but, yes, it might well be.

‘As I said, the players that we have are technical players, they like to play technical football but in the Premier League no matter against which team – even more so against teams like Southampton – you cannot win games only in a technical way. You also have to show some physicality.’

Rangnick took over in December, following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure in mid-November.

And the German believes Solskjaer’s departure was down to the fact that the Norwegian couldn’t get more out of the side.

‘It has always been a concern since Ole left the club – that was one of the reasons probably why he had to leave the club,’ said Rangnick.

‘Of course results like (Saturday’s) doesn’t make things any easier. In the game against Villa, Burnley and (Southampton), we were 1-0 or 2-0 and gave away two points.

‘This can happen once but it shouldn’t happen three times and with four points more the situation would be different but it’s not and this is what we have to face.

‘We have to face and realise the truth and obviously with results like (Saturday) it doesn’t make it any easier to finish fourth at the end.’

MORE : Newcastle confirm Kieran Trippier will be sidelined for lengthy period with broken foot

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Source: Metro Sport

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