Ralf Rangnick defends not sending off Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard against Brentford after being called ‘classless’


Manchester United caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick has dismissed criticism that he was “classless” in not allowing Jesse Lingard to send off Old Trafford after the win over Brentford.

Lingard, 29, is one of several stars set to leave the Red Devils when his contract expires in June.

Rangnick defended his decision not to give Lingard a send-off to Old Trafford
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Rangnick opted to bid farewell to Juan Mata and Phil Jones in the 3-0 win over the Bees earlier this week but decided to present Edinson Cavani with 15 minutes to play instead of Lingard.

Lingard’s brother Louie Scott took to social media after the clash and denounced both Rangnick and the club.

Warrington-born midfielder Lingard has been with United for two decades and joined the club as a seven-year-old from Penketh United in 2000.

After impressing on loan for West Ham last season, he was brought back into the fold but has started just four games all campaign.

And even with Rangnick replacing the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, minutes were still hard to come by despite a January transfer to Newcastle and Norwich being turned down.

“To start with, in the last two weeks under my tenure, he’s played a lot more games than before,” Rangnick said in his pre-game press conference.

Ralf Rangnick defends not sending off Manchester United's Jesse Lingard against Brentford after being called 'classless'
Cavani was brought in to replace Lingard against Brentford
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“Secondly, the day of the game against Chelsea [on April 28] he asked me to release him from playing and training the next day for personal family reasons.

“And that was the reason. With only three substitutes, I had to decide between Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard, or the young [Alejandro Garnacho]that I would have loved to bring and have the chance to play.

“I made the decision to bring Edinson. If I hadn’t brought Edinson, someone else could have asked if he was classless not to bring Cavani or Garnacho. You have to make a decision and it won’t be to everyone’s taste – and that’s part of the game.”

Lingard could be given the green light for United’s clash against Brighton on Saturday at the Amex Stadium, with Marcus Rashford ruled out and Jadon Sancho a doubt.

Defender Eric Bailly, however, now joins Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba on the treatment table, but there is positive news with Rangnick claiming Maguire is back.

Ralf Rangnick defends not sending off Manchester United's Jesse Lingard against Brentford after being called 'classless'
Maguire, 29, has returned to training says Rangnick
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“Harry is back in training,” Rangnick said. “He’s been training all week since the second day after the Brentford game so he’ll be available for tomorrow and will be part of the squad…

“[If he starts] is a decision I have to make after training today. I don’t want to tell our opponents the composition of the team, but he will certainly be part of the group.

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