Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick says the club needs to develop the kind of ‘clear identity’ established by rivals Manchester City and Liverpool as he prepares to take charge of his first derby.
Rangnick, whose squad traveled to Premier League leader City on Sunday, was brought in following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
The 63-year-old German will start a two-year consultancy role after the season, but has not ruled out the role of permanent manager.
“What’s clear, not only with Manchester City but also with Liverpool, they’ve had continuity and consistency in the position of their manager, their head coach for the past five or six years,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“They have a very clear identity, a clear idea of how they want to play.
“I know Jurgen (Klopp) personally and I also know Pep (Guardiola) from those three years in Germany when he was head coach of Bayern Munich.”
Rangnick said the secret to their success was that they knew exactly how they wanted to play.
“They have a clear identity, or you can call it a corporate identity, and this is their guiding principle for everything they do,” he said.
“Not only probably for new players, but also for staff members, for experts in different areas of the game that have become a little more important over the past 10 to 15 years.
“This is what all top clubs in Europe have in common. This is something that I think should also be developed and improved at Manchester United in the coming years.”
United have had a surprisingly good track record at City’s Etihad Stadium in recent years and Rangnick has been given a boost on their way to the derby with the return of Edinson Cavani.
The 35-year-old has been out of action since the 1-1 draw at Burnley on February 8 after struggling with a groin problem.
United have struggled to convert opportunities in recent weeks – Rangnick’s men had 22 shots without finding the net in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against relegated Watford.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored just one goal in 10 games and will do everything he can to get back on the scoresheet on Sunday.
“We know we are playing against one of the best, if not the best, teams in Europe and the world,” Rangnick said.
He added: “It will be tactical discipline, there will be a lot of defensive work, a lot of sprinting, running, hitting the ball, with the ball, waiting for the transition and then taking our chances.
“We’ve created enough in the last 10, 11 games. Sometimes we convert them, like in Leeds, where we scored four goals.
“But it’s true that we should have scored more goals.”