Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has defended Raphael Varane following his unconvincing display against Newcastle.
The France centre-back was making his first appearance in almost two months after a hamstring injury. And he looked shaky from the off as he had a role in Allan Saint-Maximin giving the hosts the lead.
In fact, Varane’s last game before the 1-1 draw at St James’ Park – the 2-2 Champions League draw at Atalanta – was only his second after coming back from a thigh injury.
As such, he has only made 10 appearances since his summer move from Real Madrid as he continues to settle in.
Rangnick admitted that the defender “made a mistake” against Newcastle. However, he insisted that the whole team has to perform better.
“Raphael has not played for the last five or six weeks,” the coach told a press conference. “Even before the Tottenham game he was injured, so in the last three months he hasn’t played that many games.
“Yes, he made a mistake before the first goal we conceded but apart from that I think he was okay. I wouldn’t say he was outstanding, the same with Harry [Maguire], but he did okay.
“Our problem was that we allowed too many transitional moments. This is not only a problem of the centre-backs, it is a problem of the whole team. It starts up front, the role of the number 10s in that kind of formation.
“I don’t think it makes sense today to speak about the individual performance of players. We need to get better as a team.”
Ralf Rangnick hints that Edinson Cavani will start against Burnley
Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has hinted that Edinson Cavani will start tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Old Trafford.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference for tomorrow’s game, which was held after the post-match Newcastle conference, the boss confirmed that he had considered starting Cavani at St James’ Park but the player was not sure enough of his fitness.
‘Actually the last two days I was also considering playing him from the start,’ he said.
‘I spoke to him yesterday and also the day before yesterday and he didn’t feel comfortable to play from the beginning because he didn’t know how fit he really was.
half time it was clear to me we had to take more risks, we had to change something and that’s why we decided to bring on him and Jadon at half time.’
Burnley are the visitors to Old Trafford in United’s next Premier League game on Thursday.
United remain unbeaten in four matches under Rangnick, the German recording two draws and two wins.