Manchester United’s interim manager has given his honest opinion on the Red Devils’ decision to replace him with current Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at the end of the season
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Ralf Rangnick has backed Erik ten Hag to succeed as Manchester United manager as he admitted the Dutchman is a “really positive appointment”.
The Red Devils officially confirmed the Ajax boss would succeed current interim Rangnick in the Old Trafford dugout on a four-year deal last week. Though Rangnick was expected to move into a consultancy role at the club come the end of the season, it now appears his future may lie away from Manchester.
The German is understood to be considering leaving United amid reports he has been offered the Austrian national team job. Though Rangnick is yet to address such speculation, he has finally lifted the lid on his feelings about United replacing him with Ten Hag.
In the match-day programme ahead of United’s Premier League encounter with Chelsea on Thursday night, Rangnick wrote: “I think Erik is a very good choice. From those I have spoken to within football who know him and from my own impression of his style of football, I see it as a really positive appointment.”
Though Ten Hag clearly has Rangnick’s seal of approval, the 63-year-old this week revealed he had no intentions of contacting his successor ahead of his Old Trafford arrival, while expressing his excitement at working alongside the Dutchman when he moves into a consultancy role at the club.
Rangnick said: “His focus is on Ajax now and trying to win the title now. My focus is on our club and getting the best possible results. Whenever he has time or would like to speak, I’m available. But I would not want to contact him on my own account right now.
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“I strongly believe that there is a lot of things that can become better and will become better with a new manager and hopefully with some new players, with some fresh energy in that squad. With this group of new players and the quality of players that are already here, together with the new manager, I am very positive that next season will be a lot better.
“I am looking forward to working in that advisory role and obviously helping Eric 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. 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.”
Speaking ahead of United’s clash with the Blues at Old Trafford, Rangnick urged his side to show some unity as he openly used Ten Hag as inspiration. The German insisted the club’s incoming manager would be watching, citing that as “motivation” for his side.
“The only way to get something out of this game is to play together,” Rangnick revealed pre-match. “It should be motivation that Erik ten Hag will be watching but it should also be motivation to fight for the fans and the club.”
United headed into Thursday’s clash well aware that only three points would suffice if they were to stand any chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. United sat six points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal prior to their meeting with the Blues, having crucially lost to the Gunners on Saturday.