Ralf Rangnick explains tactical worry at Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick is ‘worried’ by how often Manchester United lose the ball in transitions because of how exposed it leaves them.

United are yet to settle into a consistent rhythm since Rangnick became interim manager in early December and they have used four different formations in the last two games.

Rangnick abandoned the 4-2-2-2 formation he usually favours after defeat to Wolves in his sixth in charge and United switched to the more familiar 4-2-3-1 against Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round on Monday.

United primarily used the formation under former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and struggled for balance, with the midfield a glaring issue that was not addressed in the transfer market in the summer.

“One of the biggest issues we have is that we lose too many balls in transition when we are in possession,” Rangnick said. “It’s one of the things that worries me most, to be honest.

“We had quite a few situations where we had three-v-three against Villa in the cup game and against Wolves where we just had to make the right decision, stay calm on the ball, not play the ball too early and it is those moments and areas where we need to improve and get better.

“In total, as I said, the team is more than willing to develop and work hard on those things. Against the ball, we have become better.

“It’s not as easy to score goals against us but on the other hand, we need to make sure that when we’re in possession of the ball we don’t have too many giveaways and too many situations where we take the wrong decision, play the ball too early or not concise enough. These are exactly those moments where we need to get better in future.”

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