Manchester United

Michael Carrick hits back at criticisms of Man Utd's pressing

By Sean Walsh
Carrick oversaw United's draw at Chelsea
Carrick oversaw United's draw at Chelsea / Clive Rose/GettyImages
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Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick has responded angrily to criticisms of the Red Devils' pressing, and insisted Ralf Rangnick had no say on the team selection for their 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

Rangnick is expected to take over at Old Trafford on an interim basis imminently, though Carrick has helped navigate United through a tough week following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking.

Carrick said that Rangnick did not influence proceedings at Stamford Bridge, and hit back at criticisms of Man Utd's pressing.

"I think there's a lot made of that, pressing, to be honest. I get there's times where we haven't been good this season, but I think over time we've pressed ever so well as a team, certainly in recent seasons and at times this season. But when something gets thrown out there, it's easy for everyone to agree with it and repeat what's been said," he told Sky Sports.

"But that's how it is. I expect criticism to grow when something is suggested. That's the nature of the business. But we know that's not true, but we're also realistic and know it hasn't been good enough at times, so I'm not defending that at all.

"But pretty much every game bar two or three we've set out to press. We did that today, I thought we won balls high up the pitch, we had to drop deep and be compact at times but we always looked to get on the front foot in some way and have a trigger to press. I thought the front three did that ever so well."

When asked if United's performance was reminiscent of others this season then, Carrick replied: "I'm not getting involved with what's gone on this season and with Ole, there's no point comparing at this stage."

Before his defence of United's tactics, Carrick revealed he was disappointed with the result and that he did not believe Aaron Wan-Bissaka's challenge on Thiago Silva was enough to concede a penalty.

Jadon Sancho put United ahead after robbing Jorginho of possession and slotting past Edouard Mendy, before the Italy international levelled from the spot.

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Wan-Bissaka gave away a contentious penalty / BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

"I'm disappointed, actually. When you're in front in a game like this, to have it taken away from you like it was is disappointing," he said.

"I'm immensely proud of the players, the whole group. The staff and the players all week have been in a difficult situation and we tried to make the best of it - we can't hide from that.

"But there's that little bitter feeling. We came here to win the game, we had a plan, we were positive with our mindset and our attitude. We're a little disappointed, I can't lie.

"I don't think it was a penalty, no. I don't think it was a penalty at all. I don't know what my opinion counts for now, to be honest. Obviously they've had a lot of play, shots, David [de Gea] has probably had two saves, which I knew before the game at some point he was going to have to make one or two for us.

"But other than that I felt quite comfortable in the game, I have to say.

"We came here to take more of the ball, to put our foot on the ball and hide the ball as much as we could.

"I wanted us to be a little more dangerous on the break and have a few more moments than we did, but it's a good Chelsea team. They're playing well, they've had a great run of results. So to come away disappointed and feel like we've left something out there in some ways is a positive."

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