Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has admitted that failing to win games after taking the lead is taking its toll on confidence within the squad.
United have scored first in each of their last three games in all competitions, against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and against Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League, but they have conceded equalisers in all three and have failed to win any of them.
Overall, United have taken the lead in 11 of Rangnick’s 13 games in charge but have only gone on to win on six occasions. It highlights a lack of complete performances and is why the boss is keen for the squad to take what he is calling the ‘next step’ mentally.
“If you are 1-0 up and in three consecutive games concede, this also affects the mind of the players. It is obvious, they are still human beings, it is normal,” the German coach said.
“There are two things. One, it is to be more effective to kill the games off. Even if this does not happen, we need to stick to the gameplan and stay tactically solid. This is what I mean about taking the next step."
Rangnick has long worked with sports psychologists in his operations and Sacha Lense was quickly appointed to the coaching staff to join him in December.
The United boss will hope to see his players execute a more complete performance, show mental strength and stick to the gameplan when they host Brighton in the Premier League on Tuesday night – a game originally scheduled in December but postponed due to Covid-19.