Ragnick rates Man Utd performance against Newcastle

"It’s about energy… you have to be ready and able to win those direct duels and this was not that often the case," he said.
Ragnick rates Man Utd performance against Newcastle

Manchester United's Ralf Rangnick

Image: AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United's interim manager, Ralf Ragnick has rated his team's performance against Newcastle United on Monday night.

The German survived his first defeat in the 1-1 draw after being overwhelmed by The Magpies at St. James' Park.

Edinson Cavani (71') cancelled out Allan Saint-Maximin's 7th-minute opener as United missed out on the fifth position going into their final match of the year.

Speaking after the match, Ragnick admitted that his team were not at the level they should have been.

"I didn't like it [the performance] at all. We’ve been trying to get better at controlling games - today, we didn't control the game apart from a few moments. It's all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls and the transitional moments and, in all those areas, we were not at our best. In the end, we got a point but the performance overall needs to get better.

"Against Palace, we were better, that was a different game and we played at home. We then had two away games at Norwich and here at Newcastle and, as I said, it’s about physicality, it’s about energy… you have to be ready and able to win those direct duels and this was not that often the case. Even when we were in possession of the ball, we had too many giveaways, including the goal that we conceded and, if after seven minutes you are one-goal down at St James’ Park, then it doesn't make things easier.

"Today was not a question of body language, it was a question of body physicality. The body language was not that much of a problem today, but if you want to be competitive here against Newcastle, then you have to get physical and this was not the case in many parts of the game and, therefore, we were struggling."

The German however had nothing but praise for Cavani who came from the bench to grab his side's equaliser.

“Edinson [Cavani] is a top striker who has been out with injury, but it was good to have him on board again and to bring him on at half-time.

"We still have steps to go. Today was not a step forward,” Rangnick told BBC Sport.

The Red Devils welcome Burnley to Old Trafford for their final game of 2021 on Thursday.

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