EPL

Man United will take their time appointing next permanent boss, says director Murtough

By Sports Desk December 23, 2021

Manchester United football director John Murtough insists the club will not rush their search for the next permanent manager at Old Trafford. 

The Red Devils appointed Ralf Rangnick as interim boss until the end of the season following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

The former Schalke coach has won both his Premier League games in temporary charge of United, earning 1-0 victories over Crystal Palace and Norwich City, while they are due to face Newcastle United on Monday.

The club will seek to appoint a long-term successor to former striker Solskjaer at the conclusion of the campaign, with Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag reportedly among the leading candidates.

Murtough told a fans' forum: "Out of respect for Ole, we did not approach other managers before he left. 

"Our plan then was to appoint an experienced interim manager and Ralf was our clear first choice.

"He's someone I have admired for a long time, and we're delighted he's here. By bringing in Ralf, we can now take time to run a thorough process for our next permanent manager.

"Recruiting a manager is one of the most important decisions a football club makes, so we want to do it in a careful and considered fashion."

Murtough was sad to see Solskjaer depart following the 4-1 defeat at Watford, paying tribute to the Norwegian's contributions since replacing Jose Mourinho in December 2018.

"There were grounds for confidence that we were going to continue building on the progress we saw in the prior two seasons," Murtough added. 

"After the promising early-season results, things went off plan.

"As a club, we felt Ole had earned the right to be given the chance to turn things round, but didn't get a reaction after the international break, and the Watford game made it clear change was needed.

"We're all disappointed at Ole's departure, but he deserves to be judged on his record over the past three years, not his last few weeks. 

"He reset the club's culture and reshaped the squad, leaving us in a stronger position today than when he returned in 2018."

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  • Liverpool must 'rally round' Nunez after red card – Milner Liverpool must 'rally round' Nunez after red card – Milner

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    The Uruguayan was dismissed just before the hour mark at Anfield by referee Paul Tierney during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace after he reacted to being shoved by Joachim Andersen by pushing his head into the Dane's face.

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    "I didn't see the incident," the 36-year-old said. "Obviously he's going to be disappointed with that and it's down to us to get round him and rally. I'm sure he'll learn from it.

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    The Uruguayan had already endured a frustrating home debut after having five shots with none on target, before seeing red both figuratively and literally just before the hour as he threw his head into Joachim Andersen's face after the Dane shoved him.

    Liverpool dominated proceedings at Anfield despite playing more than a third of the game with 10 men, but were frustrated by a resolute Palace side who could have even taken all three points after Wilfried Zaha missed a late chance.

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    Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Klopp said Nunez knew he made a mistake, but added he will have to get used to the physicality of defending in the Premier League and react accordingly.

    "He knows that now himself [that he made a mistake] and I will talk to him," the Reds boss said. "It doesn't make too much sense that I speak about it in public. It is absolutely not the reaction you want to see. Centre halves in the Premier League will do that to him, he's a handful himself and yeah, that's not the reaction."

    Klopp was happier with the contribution of his other South American forward, Diaz, whose goal brought Anfield to life as the hosts tried to force a winner, with Mohamed Salah and substitute Fabio Carvalho both hitting volleys narrowly wide in the closing stages.

    "Luis played a super game, especially after the goal, he played like three or four players," Klopp added. "Incredible goal and of course, we needed that, then we had from the edge [of the penalty area] two nice opportunities, one with Fabio, one with Mo, but in the end it's a point."

    The German coach was philosophical despite the fact his team still await their first win of the season, and already sit four points behind rivals Manchester City in the Premier League table.

    Klopp has a number of players missing through injury, including Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip, meaning Nat Phillips had to start in defence with Joe Gomez only fit enough for a late cameo from the bench, while Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are also currently unavailable.

    "[A point is] not exactly what we wanted before the game of course but after this game and all the things that happened, we have to take it," he said.

    "Honestly, the real feeling I have in the moment is I'm proud. Everything that went against us in the week is crazy, it was like a witch was in the building. Every time somebody else had [injury] problems, and putting in such a performance, especially in the circumstances, I am really proud of that."

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