Rangnick ready to add coach and sports psychologist to backroom team
Ralf Rangnick – Professor of football
Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that coach Chris Armas and sports psychologist Sascha Lense will be the first appointments to his backroom staff as Manchester United’s interim manager.
Rangnick hopes to have both Armas and Lense working under him at Carrington later this week once their visa applications have been completed.
Armas has previously worked as a manager himself in Major League Soccer, taking charge of Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls, through which he met Rangnick during his time with the Red Bull football group.
Lense worked under Rangnick at RB Leipzig, winning promotion to the Bundesliga during the 2015-16 season, and will become United’s first sports psychologist on staff since Bill Beswick was brought in by Steve McClaren in the late 1990s.
When asked whether he was surprised that United had been operating without a psychologist on the staff, Rangnick said: “I don’t know what the situation is like in England at other clubs, in Germany most clubs have employed a sports psychologist or a mental coach, whatever you call them.
“For me it’s only a question of logic. If you have special coaches for goalkeeping, physical education, for strikers or whatever, you should also have an expert for the brain.
“It’s not so much to put them on a red sofa and hold hands with the players, because most of them won’t do that anyway but for me it’s about helping the players. The brain should assist the body, not work against it. This is what its about.
“The players, the coaching staff, everybody should think in the right way. Whenever we speak about football we know a major part is up here and therefore I’m very happy to have Sascha on board.
“As I said, he’s a former second division player. He’s part of every training session and having worked together in Leipzig, I know we could benefit a lot. It’s also about coaching the coaches. The coaches have to allow that. For me it’s vital we should have the best possible coaches on this job.”
On Armas, Rangnick added: “He will also hopefully be able to join us in the next two days.”
Rangnick’s attempts to appoint familiar faces to his staff have been frustrated by post-Brexit immigration regulations and the nature of his six-month interim appointment, with many of those who could have been considered for roles tied down to long-term contracts.
“I will obviously try to find one, two, maybe three people who can join us in the one or two weeks but due to the Brexit regulations it’s not too easy,” he said last week.
“Many of my former colleagues, no matter if it is video analysts or assistant coaches are in long-term contracts with big clubs so they are not available right now and we have to be a bit smart and clever and find the right people.”
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