Ralf Rangnick set to make bizarre training ground change as first Man Utd act

Ralf Rangnick is expected to make a host of changes to the way Manchester United train and could introduce a ‘countdown clock’ at Carrington, according to reports.

The 63-year-old has agreed a deal to take over the reins at Old Trafford until the end of the season – after which point he will take up a consultancy position – but will not be in the dugout against Chelsea on Sunday as he is still waiting for a work permit.

Rangnick is known for his revolutionary approach and creative training sessions and looks set to bring that to United too.

One of the biggest criticisms aimed at the players he will inherit is that they do not work or press hard enough off the ball, which could be an issue for a manager who developed gegenpressing.

But The Telegraph report that Rangnick will not be changing his style of play or philosophy and is ready to bring some of his tried and tested methods to Manchester.

Chief among them is a special, customised clock that is visible -and audible – to all the players during training and helps drill them into pressing more effectively.

Rangnick has used the ticking countdown clock at previous clubs, including RB Leipzig, and it helps get the players into the mindset of winning back possession as quickly as possible.

The German coach demands that his side win back possession within eight seconds and produce an effort on goal within 10 seconds of winning the ball, with his belief being that it is easiest to score when opposition teams have just lost possession and have not had time to reorganise.

The clock ticks down loudly so all the players can hear it and Rangnick believes it increases the intensity of sessions and helps to simulate match conditions.

United’s hierarchy are believed to have given the new interim manager the green light to install the clock at Carrington, with Rangnick having also been given access to old training ground footage to assess the state of the current squad and the methods that were employed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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