By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer
Diogo Dalot likes Ralf Rangnick’s philosophy and believes Manchester United can do a “fantastic job” if everyone buys into the interim manager’s approach.
After watching caretaker boss Michael Carrick oversee Thursday’s 3-2 win against Arsenal from the stands, the 63-year-old successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge for the first time on Sunday.
Rangnick had precious little time to make an impact on the group ahead of Crystal Palace’s arrival yet United still produced a superb start to a match that they ended as 1-0 victors thanks to Fred’s fine finish.
“I think it was a complete performance,” right-back Dalot told the PA news agency.
“We get a clean sheet, get the three points, score a late goal, so it was a good afternoon for everyone.
“You need to have clean sheets. You’re going to be closer to win games like that (if you do), so it was important to be compact defensively and then we’re going to create a lot of chances.
“We needed to score as well. We kept our head clean after a few opportunities that we didn’t score and Fred at the end was fantastic for him as well and for the team.”
Asked if the high energy, intense start came down from Rangnick, he said: “I think it’s down to everyone.
“Not just for the message from the manager but obviously for everyone on the pitch – the fans, the ones that are outside the pitch.
“Everybody was into it and that’s what we need to do and keep like that for the rest of the season.
“But mostly in the next game and build this foundation for the rest of the games.”
Dalot is excited by what Rangnick can achieve at United, where he has signed a deal until the end of the season as interim manager before taking on a two-year consultancy position.
“It’s difficult to change and have an opinion in such a few days, but we’re going to have time to know him and he’s going to have time to know us as well for the next couple of weeks,” the Portugal right-back said.
“I’m sure that if everybody’s together, everybody’s into it, we’re going to do a fantastic job. We’re going to help him and he’s going to help us as well.
— Diogo Dalot (@DalotDiogo) December 5, 2021
“There’s no secret that he’s a very good manager with very good ideas to play football.
“Hopefully we can help him to give us the best that he can give as well, and vice-versa.”
As well as bringing a new look to the side, Rangnick’s arrival can offer the likes of Dalot a fresh start.
The 22-year-old struggled to get a look in under Solskjaer and spent last season on loan at AC Milan, but impressive performances in back-to-back Premier League starts will put pressure on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s place.
“I mean, there’s no secret that it’s difficult when you don’t play as much as you wanted,” Dalot said.
“But it’s our job to get ready and I’ve been doing that for a couple months now, especially this season, and be ready when my time comes to give everything on the pitch.
“Help the team, that’s most important thing, and I’m very happy to give this momentum as well and be out there with the team.”
Dalot will be hoping for more game time in the coming days as United head to Norwich after rounding off their Champions League group campaign at home to Young Boys.
The Red Devils are already assured of topping Group F heading into Wednesday’s match, but there appears little chance of that match being taken lightly.
“No, we have the qualification secured but we still have to play the game and we want to win,” Dalot added.
“We want to keep the momentum, we want to keep the same level as we did today and especially in the last few games.
“It’s another opportunity for us to show everybody that we want to keep the momentum, so there’s not anyone thinking that ‘this is not a good game to play’ or ‘this is not the way to approach it’.
“We are going to approach it like it was a game to qualify.”
Palace return to action at home to Everton on Sunday, when Tyrick Mitchell is hoping for a response.
“(The manager told us to) get on the ball, exploit them in the midfield and stretch them, but unfortunately we didn’t do it well enough,” he told Palace TV.
“We need to take this week to regroup, and to hopefully win the next match.”