Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick explains how psychologist can solve Man Utd 'puzzle'

Tom Gott
Rangnick has brought in a psychologist to help Man Utd
Rangnick has brought in a psychologist to help Man Utd / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages
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Interim manager Ralf Rangnick is confident that psychologist Sascha Lense will help Manchester United get back to their best in the near future.

One of Rangnick's first moves following his arrival at Old Trafford was to bring along Lense, with whom he worked at RB Leipzig, and the decision sparked an intriguing conversation about the benefits of mental coaching in a physical game.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rangnick insisted that strengthening the brain is just as important as learning how to defend or attack.

"Every club has different experts for goalkeeping, for physical performance, for different areas of the field - defence, midfield, offence," he explained. "The team of experts at some teams is probably bigger than the number of players in a squad.

"If you then consider the brain, the head, the way players, staff members or coaches think is the most relevant one, then for me it is only logical to have the best possible expert from that area in your staff.

"This is what it's all about, to help the players think the right things and not think the wrong things. To develop players, the brain should help the body perform at the highest possible level.

"This is part of the jigsaw, of the puzzle. It's important any top club, and Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world - have the best possible people, and they should at least have all those little pieces available.

"It shouldn't be the case that in certain areas we don't have anyone. I strongly believe that every club in the future should have someone in this department."

Rangnick went on to discuss the obvious pressures of being a United player and the struggles that can come along with such a profile, citing the tragic suicide of Robert Enke in 2009 when he was still the German national team goalkeeper, and stressed the importance of having somebody to speak to if things get challenge.

"Sascha watches every training session, he's part of every meeting, he's part of the staff and he speaks regularly with players," Rangnick continued.

"Of course, it is not obligatory, we do not force players to speak to Sascha, but they know he's there. He's a smart and decent guy, and he's top in his job, I know that because we worked together at Leipzig for three years. The players will find that out very soon, if they haven't already."

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