Michael Carrick believes it is a "myth" that Cristiano Ronaldo is unable to press, with Manchester United's caretaker manager stating that the 36-year-old and the rest of the squad will be able to adapt to the methods of Ralf Rangnick.
Rangnick, who continues to wait for a work visa to start his spell as interim manager at Old Trafford, adheres to a high-pressing style and there is a view that Ronaldo is unable, at his age, to execute this. Carrick was asked whether this is true or not.
“Maybe it is a myth – maybe that’s how it is,” he said. “He’s played in enough teams over the years and been successful. He’s been able to play a variety of ways and kept scoring goals for every team he’s played for, and he’ll continue to score goals – no doubt about it.”
Ronaldo is United's top scorer with 10 goals in 15 appearances this season. Given this record, Carrick was asked what moved him to leave out the Portuguese at Chelsea last Sunday.
“There are a lot of things you have to take into consideration when you make a decision on picking a team,” Carrick said.
“Some players bring things to the table, other players bring other things to the table. You have fitness, tiredness, freshness, there’s tactics, there’s personality and character within that.
‘Reality is very different’
“It seems like it was a big decision but really, between us and [for] me personally, it wasn’t. You can ask Cristiano. The way he responded was perfection really.
“Around the dressing room he was incredible, he supported the players. I went in to do my half-time team talk and he was warming up 10 minutes in advance ready to come on in the second half. I think a lot can be made of it and spinning it in a negative way but behind the scenes the reality is very different.”
Rangnick hopes to be in charge for Sunday's visit of Crystal Palace. Carrick has no doubts the squad will be able to match the 63-year-old's demands.
“Players adapt – there’s different skills and styles you have to have,” he said. “We have played different styles since we came here. Ralf has a terrific pedigree over a long period of time and had good success with that so I am sure that the players are looking forward to the days and weeks ahead.”
United's final Champions League group match against Young Boys will still be staged at Old Trafford next Wednesday. The Swiss club has been granted dispensation by the local government in Berne for players and staff not to quarantine for 10 days on return.– Guardian