Is Edinson Cavani fit enough to start against Burnley? (Picture: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)
Ralf Rangnick has revealed he was considering starting Edinson Cavani against Newcastle but the striker wanted to start on the bench.
Prior to Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle, Cavani had last played on November 2 due to injury.
The Uruguayan came off the bench at half-time and marked his return by scoring the equaliser, his second goal of the season.
Rangnick says his plan was to start the veteran striker but Cavani himself had doubts over his own fitness levels.
‘Actually in the last two days I was also considering to play him from the start,’ Rangnick said.
‘I spoke to him yesterday and the day before yesterday and he didn’t feel comfortable to play from the beginning.
Edinson Cavani came off the bench to score the equaliser against Newcastle (Picture: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)
‘He didn’t know how fit he really was but today after being 1-0 down at half-time it was clear to me that we had to take more risks, we needed to change something and that’s why we decided to bring on him and Jadon [Sancho] at half-time.’
Cavani could now be in line for a start when United host Burnley on Thursday night providing he came through the 45 minutes at St James’ Park unscathed.
United sit seventh in the Premier League table at present and have picked up two 1-0 wins and a 1-1 draw in Rangnick’s first three league games since taking charge.
The German boss admits he hoped his side would have taken bigger steps of progression since he arrived at the club.
Asked about whether he was happy with how they had developed, he said: ‘Of course not.
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‘Every coach, every ambitious coach and there is no difference between other coaches and myself in that area wants to take faster steps and larger steps forward but in order to do that you need to be able to train and as you know we had to close Carrington for four days.
‘We had eight or nine players in training directly after the Norwich game and they only came back in bits and pieces.
‘The last few days we were almost back to full strength with regard to the size of the squad but we couldn’t do that much in training.
‘On the other hand, in those two or three training sessions the team looked good and therefore in (Monday’s) game it was a bit of a negative surprise, the way that we played with regard to game speed, game tempo and physicality.’
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