Man Utd: Ralf Rangnick gives verdict on Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton

Man Utd: Ralf Rangnick gives verdict on Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton
Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United drew 1-1 with Young Boys (Picture: MUTV)

Ralf Rangnick praised Dean Henderson’s ‘very proactive, very present’ performance in Manchester United’s draw with Young Boys and has explained why he gave Tom Heaton his debut in the Champions League clash.

Rangnick, who replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United boss at the end of last month, rung the changes for Wednesday’s visit of Young Boys, with all 11 players who started the Premier League win over Crystal Palace given a night off.

Goalkeeper Henderson, who has struggled for game-time this season after briefly replacing David de Gea as the club’s No. 1 last term, started against the Swiss side and Rangnick was pleased with his performance.

The German boss also said Heaton, who replaced Henderson in the second half, ‘deserved’ to make his Red Devils debut, almost two decades after he first joined the club.

Asked if he felt Henderson produced a confident display in the 1-1 draw, Rangnick said: ‘I fully agree. I think he almost even saved the ball that was the equaliser for Young Boys.

‘It was only very little, one or two centimetres, that he would even save that ball. But of course it was a very difficult one.

‘Apart from that he was very proactive, very present. And the same is true of Tom Heaton, he had his debut at the age of 35.

Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton both featured at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

‘Obviously I wasn’t aware of that but we had some conversations with the goalkeeper coaches and we decided yesterday, if at all possible, if the chronology of the game would allow it, that we wanted to give him his debut at Old Trafford today.’

Rangnick added on Heaton: ‘I didn’t know that actually that he’s been playing in England for such a long time, in Championship and even Premier League level, apparently he even had some game time for the English team, he played for England.

‘Obviously I wasn’t aware of that so Richard our goalkeeper coach told me that. He’s a fantastic person, very good goalkeeper, and he more than deserved that opportunity to have his debut at the age of 35.’

Mason Greenwood’s early opener saw Manchester United take the lead in their final Champions League group game but David Wagner’s side equalised through teenager Fabian Rieder.

Mason Greenwood put the hosts ahead at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Rangnick added: ‘I was fully aware before the game that with this team that we played today, we haven’t played together as team.

‘The first half hour we did quite okay. We had a few unforced errors but had control of the game. We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up.

‘We had some great opportunities but we didn’t score. We were a bit sloppy with those situations.

‘After we conceded the equaliser we were not defending high enough or pro-active enough. If in the end, the score would have been 4-4, then nobody could have complained.

‘There were quite a few debuts and game time for players who desperately need game time. I wouldn’t say I was happy but it was okay.’

Manchester United, who finished top of Group F with 11 points from six games, are currently sixth in the Premier League and face Norwich City on Saturday.

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