Ralf Rangnick has reminded Jesse Lingard that missing matches is “part of the game” after claiming he has played “far more” than previously in recent weeks.
It has been a frustrating season at Old Trafford for the attacking midfielder, whose contract expires in June. He thrived on loan at West Ham this time last year, but hasn’t had as many chances back in Manchester. Lingard was an unused substitute in United’s most recent match, a 3-0 win over Brentford.
It seems his Man Utd career is ending with a whimper, with just two games now remaining. At a press conference on Friday, Rangnick was asked about Lingard’s frustration. The question came after some critical comments from his brother of him, who described the decision to overlook him as “classless”.
In response, Rangnick revealed the thought processes he is juggling in the final few games of his spell as United’s interim manager. What’s more, I have suggested Lingard has had more action in recent weeks than before.
Rangnick explained: “To start with, in the last couple of weeks under my tenure he has played far more games than he used to. Number two, on game day against Chelsea he asked me to release him from the game and training the following day for personal family reasons.
“And this was the reason with only three subs I had to make a decision between Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard, or the young Alejandro Garnacho, who I would have loved to have brought on and given a chance to play. I made the decision to bring on Edinson.
“Had I not brought on someone might have asked if it’s classless not to bring on Cavani or Alejandro Garnacho. After two subs, you have to make a decision and this will not be to the liking of everybody and this is part of the game.”
There are now two remaining chances for Lingard to bid farewell to the club whose academy he came through before making more than 200 senior appearances.
Rangnick provides team news for Brighton visit as Lingard chances run out
Man Utd will close the season out away at Crystal Palace on May 22nd. But first up, they have to visit Brighton for a 5:30pm kick-off this Saturday.
For that task, Rangnick will be without Marcus Rashford and may miss Eric Bailly. However, Harry Maguire could be back in contention.
Rangnick confirmed: “Harry is back in training. I have trained the whole week since the second day after the Brentford game. So he will be available for tomorrow and part of the group.
“Edinson is training; he came on as a sub. Marcus Rashford will be missing; he’s got bronchitis with a high temperature so he won’t be able to be part of the group and we have a question mark on Eric Bailly.
“He called the doctor this morning and had some back problems and he is being checked right now. We will have to see if he will be able to train afterwards.”
As for whether Maguire is ready to play, Rangnick is uncertain. He replied: “This is a decision I have to make after training today. I don’t want to tell our opponents the line-up to start.”
Man Utd will be aiming to strengthen their grip on sixth place as the end of the season approaches.
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