Ralf Rangnick asked for more intensity and urgency from his Manchester United players to inspire a better second half against Brentford.
Manchester United beat the Bees 3-1 on Wednesday evening to move to within two points of fourth-placed West Ham, on whom they have another game in hand.
Rangnick was impressive in his role as interim manager, tweaking a system that was not working before making some key substitutions.
His removal of Cristiano Ronaldo at 2-0 up produced a typically sensible reaction from the Portuguese but even that was justified when Marcus Rashford increased their lead.
Diogo Dalot, who impressed at right-back after a difficult first half, has offered some insight into the message he and his teammates were given at half-time.
Dalot’s defended his back post so well especially aerially. He’s read flight well and is impressing as a starter.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) January 19, 2022
“We were calm in the dressing room,” Dalot told the club’s official website.
“We knew that we were not doing enough to win the game, we conceded some chances to the opponent, but we knew what we needed to do.
“We had a game plan that we needed to stick to, be a little bit more aggressive to get to second balls, a bit more intensity on the counter-attack, clinical in the last third and serve the players up front to score goals and that’s what we did.
“I think we did a very good second 45 minutes and in the end, it made for a good performance.”
On how the three goals came from forcing possession turnovers high up the pitch, Dalot added: “That’s one of our strengths, we need to keep doing this.
“The space is there, the quality of the players are there. Sometimes it’s just the serving that’s not quite there, so we need to improve on that, we need to improve on a lot of things as well, but we’re going to do that. We’re going to get there.”
Rangnick himself agreed that his players lacked “urgency” in the first half and “had to change a few things”.
“I wouldn’t say [there was] a strong conversation [at half-time] but obviously we had to change a few things and the first half we were not good in almost all aspects of the game: sloppy passing, not strong enough in the 50/50 situations, and we gave away almost every second ball.
“In the second half, we were more urgent, we were attacking them higher up the pitch, we were taking the right positions when we were on the counter-attack, and we scored. This was the big difference.”
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