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Ralf Rangnick admits his Manchester United players are lacking physicality and aggression and claims it will be difficult for the next manager to change the DNA of the ‘technical’ members in the squad.
United limped to a 1-1 draw against Leicester City on Saturday in another blow to their chances of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
Leicester took the lead at Old Trafford after capitalising on a failed counter attack from United. Fred broke out towards Leicester’s half but lost possession before Bruno Fernandes jumped out of a tackle with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who then provided the pass for James Maddison to deliver a brilliant cross into United’s box, which was met by Kelechi Iheanacho who steered his header past David De Gea.
Fred quickly equalised for United, while Leicester saw Maddison’s late goal ruled out due to a foul from Iheanacho in the build up.
Rangnick insists the mentality of his United players is not an issue but feels they were ‘second best’ in aggression and physicality against Leicester.
‘I don’t think we have a lack of character but what was obvious in some parts of the game is that we were second best with regards to physicality,’ Rangnick said.
‘It was about one on one duels. We spoke about that counter-attacking moment we had ourselves where they tackled us twice, within two seconds [and went on to score] and the same was true in quite a few other moments.
‘Whenever there was body contact, we were too often we were second best. This is something we have to get better at for the rest of this season but even more so for the next season.’
When asked about Fernandes jumping out of a 50-50 ball with Dewsbury-Hall, Rangnick said: ‘Yeah, but the same was true with Fred and he is one of our physical and aggressive players but I am not only talking about this specific moment.
‘There were quite a few other moments where I just felt we could have been more dynamic, more physical, more aggressive but we weren’t in those moments.’
Rangnick also believes United’s players will struggle to change their mindset from being ‘technical’ to ‘aggressive’.
‘It also has to be a little bit in the DNA of a player,’ said Rangnick.
‘It is difficult to change a technically great player into a physical, aggressive player and we have a lot of technical players.
‘On a day when our game is fluid and we are in our rhythm we have shown in the past we can outplay other teams but today was difficult.
‘Leicester were aggressive and physical in many parts of the game, we had problems with them. It is difficult to change.
‘I do not think it is to do with mindset, it is to do with the DNA of players.’
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Source: Metro Sport