Ralf Rangnick doesn’t think fans abusing Paul Pogba makes sense and slams Manchester United’s defensive ability


Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick says that the criticism of Paul Pogba by his own fans ‘doesn’t make sense’ after the midfielder was abused during and after their win against Norwich City at Old Trafford.

Asked to play as a holding midfielder, Pogba struggled throughout the 3-2 victory as United blew a two-goal lead before Cristiano Ronaldo sealed his hat-trick and three points with a trademark free-kick.

The Frenchman was booed off by Red Devils supporters on 74 minutes as Rangnick withdrew him, and chants of ‘F*ck off Pogba’ echoed around Old Trafford before the 29-year-old cupped his ears to a baying crowd as he walked down the tunnel come full-time.

With the supporters already protesting the Glazer’s ownership of the club, boss Rangnick spoke post-match on the situation with his player.

He said: “The fans here are amazing. The support in the stadium today was great and couldn’t have been any better.

“It doesn’t make sense [though]to take on and target any individual person or player. It’s a collective responsibility and that’s why I will always defend and protect my players.

“I didn’t see it myself, but I was speaking about it with my staff in the locker room. I can fully understand that they [the fans]are frustrated and disappointed, but so are we.”

Neither Scott McTominay or Fred are expected to return for Tuesday night’s trip to Anfield when United take on a Liverpool side who are still in with a chance of a quadruple this season having reached the FA Cup final this weekend.

German Rangnick admitted – on the whole – that improvement is needed from his side and quick, saying: “We have to be more physical and more aggressive.

“We’re probably the only team in the league who concede goals like this [not being strong enough]. Today isn’t the first time it’s happened and even if I just think about the games since I arrived, we should have had eight points more than we do [from winning positions].

“Today we could have lost the game from 2-0 up. David De Gea made a great save at 2-2 and we just have to defend better than we did regardless of which team we’re up against.

“If you want to defend properly in this league then you shouldn’t just allow your opponents to go past you as easily as they did today. It’s nothing to do with our formation, this team just doesn’t defend well enough.

“If we play like we played today against Liverpool, then it’ll be difficult for us to even earn a point. We need to raise our own levels and our own standards.”

The fact that Ronaldo’s hat-trick wasn’t the main talking point of the afternoon evidences some of the problems which United – as a club – currently face.

Rangnick though did praise the 37-year-old, adding: “I don’t think that we even need to speak about Cristiano’s performance today.

“Like he did against Tottenham [scoring a hat-trick last month in another 3-2 win], he made the difference once again. At least two of the three [goals]today were not easy ones to score.

His whole performance was impressive.”

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