Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick wants Man Utd fans to be '12th & 13th man' in Atletico tie

Tom Gott
Rangnick wants an impact from fans
Rangnick wants an impact from fans / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages
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Ralf Rangnick has called on the Manchester United supporters to do their best to inspire the team to victory in Tuesday's Champions League crunch tie against Atletico Madrid.

United were second-best in the first leg in Spain but snatched a 1-1 draw courtesy of a late goal from Anthony Elanga, and with no away goals rule in place these days, the game is about as finely balanced as possible.

With a rare spot in the competition's quarter-final up for grabs - United have only made it that far twice since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013 - Rangnick challenged fans to give the players the extra boost they will need.

“Quite like in the game against Spurs we need our players and supporters to be on top form on Tuesday night,” Rangnick said.

“Our supporters play a vital role and it’s always a very special atmosphere at Old Trafford – even more so for international [European] games. They can be our 12th and 13th player on the pitch and make the difference. In the end it’s up to us, we have to create those moments and then the rest will come from our fantastic supporters.

“The supporters are the ones we can rely on and what kind of energy that [comes from them] is up to us. Antonio Conte said on Saturday that it was a very difficult atmosphere for them to play and that’s probably one of the biggest compliments you can get: if the opposition manager says that after the game.”

Left-back Alex Telles also echoed that sentiment, insisting the players feel better when the fans are on their side.

“The support is extremely important,” he added. “If we play well the fans will always be behind us. We feel that when we’re at home.

"We have fantastic fans – they’re very positive and we react positively to that. It’s how it was against Spurs and I think it will be the same against Atletico: we’re really happy with the fans.”

United expect to have Bruno Fernandes back after he returned from a Covid-related absence and took part in Monday's training session, while Luke Shaw is also in line to return after training twice with the team.

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