Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has hinted there is little more that he or his staff can do to improve results, with the onus instead on the players to take the chances they are wasting.
A number of recent United games have been characterised by poor finishing, despite creating good opportunities to score – suggesting the tactics and instructions from the coaching team are right – and Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Watford was more of the same.
United dominated from start to finish at Old Trafford and racked up 22 shots during the 90 minutes, but only three were on target. Bruno Fernandes in particular could have had a hat-trick in the opening half hour had he been more clinical. Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga also chances go begging that should have made the difference on the day.
“Our job as coaches is to help the team to create enough chances. If we only had two or three opportunities in the game, we could ask ourselves what can we do to create more. The number of clear chances we had today had to be enough to win a game like this,” a rueful Rangnick reflected.
Fernandes took some of the responsibility when he faced the media: “We created enough to win this game. We have to be a little bit more clinical, starting with me, I had many chances to score.
"We didn't score, we don't concede goal, but if you don't score then you don't win the game. We created enough to win this game. We have to be a little bit more clinical, starting with me, I had many chances today to score.”
United’s failure to put games to bed has seen them drop points in six of Rangnick’s 13 Premier League games since the German was appointed in December, failing to put together three successive wins under his leadership so far.
United remain fourth in the Premier League, occupying the last Champions League spot, but are only two points ahead of Arsenal and have now played three games more than the Gunners.
“If I look back at the last three months, we have given away that many chances and that many points with draws, we should have four or six more points and the situation would be completely different,” Rangnick said.