Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick admits he understands fans frustrations but feels booing individual players is counterproductive.
United beat Norwich City 3-2 at Old Trafford on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo netted the 50th club hat-tick of his career. But his heroics masked yet another disappointing display by the Red Devils.
The three points keeps them in the hunt for a top-four berth. However, Tottenham occupy the final Champions League spot while Arsenal are also in the frame.
It has been a tough season for United, with a number of lame performances. The side’s lack of direction and cohesion has been criticised.
Fans are clearly unhappy and it all came to a head on Saturday afternoon. Thousands of supporters marched to protest against the club’s owners.
But, while the Glazers were targeted outside the ground, it was the players who received the fans’ ire inside the Theatre of Dreams.
Chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” could be heard from the stands when Teemu Pukki equalised for the Canaries. And boos rang put as Paul Pogba was substituted.
Rangnick was oblivious to the crowd reaction during the game. And he took issue with those who targeted the France international.
“I didn’t hear it myself to be honest, but I was talking about it with my staff afterwards,” he told BBC Sport. “I think the fans here are amazing, I really do. The support in the stadium today was great, it could not have been any better.
“I can understand if the fans are frustrated and disappointed but I don’t think it makes sense to take on and to target any individual player. It is a collective responsibility.
“Even if you look into the past it does not make sense. This is why I will always defend and protect my players.”
Rangnick seeks United lift
Despite being within touching distance of the top four, Manchester United are outsiders to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition. They have a tough run of games coming up, with trips to both Liverpool and Arsenal.
The north-west giants must also welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford before the dust settles on 2021-2022. And the German tactician knows that his charges will need to up their game to take anything from their next two outings.
“If we want to get points out of those games we have to raise our level and play our best,” he added.
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