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'Ronaldo is not a pressing monster' - Man Utd have had to compromise tactically, admits Rangnick

Cristiano Ronaldo is "not a pressing monster", according to Ralf Rangnick, who has admitted that Manchester United have had to compromise tactically to fit the veteran striker's style of play.

Ronaldo has led the line for United impressively since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer, scoring 24 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions.

However, the Red Devils have slipped out of the Premier League's top four and suffered early exits in all major cup competitions despite the 37-year-old's goals, and Rangnick concedes that he has been unable to find the right balance during his seven-month stint in the dugout.

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What has Rangnick said about Ronaldo?

The German tactician does not hold Ronaldo responsible for United's failings, but the fact his high-pressing philosophy has not been executed effectively comes as a great source of frustration.

“I am the one who is most disappointed about that and frustrated about that," Rangnick told a press conference. "At one stage we just had to find compromises — attacking a little bit deeper, how can we make sure that we get our offensive players into their positions?

“Cristiano scored a few goals but, again, Cristiano — and I’m not blaming him at all, he did great in those games - but he’s not a pressing monster. He’s not a player - even when he was a young player - he was not a young player who was crying, shouting 'Hurray, the other team has got the ball, where can we win balls?'

“And the same with quite a few other players, so we had to make some compromises at one stage, maybe we made a few too many — that’s also possible — but, as I said, we never found the right balance between what do we need with the ball and without the ball.”

Rangnick gives Klopp example

Rangnick was speaking ahead of United's final game of the season away at Crystal Palace, which they must win to make sure of a sixth-place finish and Europa League qualification.

The 63-year-old, who will be replaced by new permanent boss Erik ten Hag after the Red Devils' trip to Selhurst Park, accepts that he hasn't had the desired impact at Old Trafford, but also cited Jurgen Klopp's journey at Liverpool as an example of the need for patience.

“I agree we never came near to that aggressive, pro-active football,” said Rangnick.

“That has to do with physicality if we want to play like that. If you think of Jurgen Klopp’s first season at Liverpool they did not play that kind of football, it took them one and half seasons. In the end they finished eighth.

“I’m more than self-critical. I should have done better. I expected that me and my coaching staff could have developed this team in a more sustainable kind of way. We couldn’t and it’s not only the players who should be blamed, it should be ourselves.”

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