Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick on Monday urged his side to display more defensive solidity ahead of a crucial run-in that will determine Champions League qualification and likely define his tenure as interim boss.

Rangnick, who succeeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November last year, has struggled to turn around United’s season following a dismal start, with the team three points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur in fourth.

“We need to be more compact, we need to find the right balance of what we do in possession of the ball and what we need to do in order to defend our own goal,” Rangnick told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s visit to second-placed Liverpool.

“For sure, we need to be more compact, more aggressive… this is what we need to show tomorrow against a team that is probably one of the best in creating moments which they can be dangerous from in and around the box. We need to be at our very best defensively.”

Liverpool boss Klopp expects Man United to ‘go for it’ in key clash


Rangnick said that Liverpool, who trail leaders Manchester City by a point, will start as favourites but his side was capable of causing an upset.

“Although we might be the underdogs for most people, we still know that if we raise our level, if we play a top performance, then we have a chance to get three points. This will be our ambition and goal for tomorrow,” he added.

The German confirmed that midfielder Bruno Fernandes was involved in a car crash earlier on Monday but escaped unhurt and will be available against Liverpool.

“Yes, he was training with the team, obviously the accident happened on the way to Carrington. As far as I know, no one was injured. He was okay and he’ll be okay for tomorrow,” he said.

Defender Raphael Varane, however, is likely to miss out again after having sat out the last two league games due to a muscle problem.

“He didn’t train with the team, he was on the pitch with one of our rehab coaches. In regard to injuries, we have the same situation as we had in the last two games,” added Rangnick.

Midfielders Fred and Scott McTominay, left back Luke Shaw and striker Edinson Cavani are the others out injured.

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