Ralf Rangnick claims he ‘would have loved’ Jesse Lingard in Manchester United’s squad to face Middlesbrough
The Red Devils’ interim manager added to the Lingard saga after the defeat to Middlesbrough.
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The Red Devils lost 8-7 on penalties to the Championship side following a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford after 120 minutes.
United named two goalkeepers on the bench for the fourth-round tie after Rangnick said Lingard had requested a few days off to ‘clear up his mind’, and therefore meant he was unavailable, although Lingard refuted that claim on Thursday.
Striker Edinson Cavani also missed the match after he was granted extra leave while playing for Uruguay during the recent international break, meaning he wasn’t involved in the squad.
Rangnick rejected the claim Cavani could have been part of the United’s matchday roster and was also asked about the situation surrounding Linagrd.
“No, because in the end he played for Uruguay on Wednesday and with the travel arrangements it would not have made sense [for Cavani to play], he would not have been in the squad anyway,” said the interim manager.
“Regarding Jesse, I’ve been told the information wasn’t what my knowledge was. Of course, I would have loved to have Jesse in the squad. One few player went out, two players less on the teamsheet today, so why should I have allowed him to have four or five days off?
“I would have loved if he’d been in the squad but it was not the case and it does not make sense to speak about players who were not available.”
Pogba & Sancho updates
While Friday’s FA Cup game was a hugely disappointing occasion for United, there was one major positive with Paul Pogba returning to the team after a three-month injury lay-off.
Pogba was replaced in the second half, as was Jadon Sancho, who came off in extra-time and appeared to be have a little discomfort, but Rangnick said neither player picked was suffering from an injury.
“Physically, I don’t think we need to lift the squad,” he told reporters via video link. “Paul, having been out for two and a half months, it was normal he was substituted after 65/70 minutes.
“Jadon was not injured he was just feeling some fatigue, some cramps and that was the reason we decided to take him off. Of course the players are disappointed, like we are. But again, this is football, this can happen.
“But it was our own fault that at the end we had to play penalties because we should have killed off the game in the first half.”