RALF RANGNICK apologised to Manchester United fans for one of the worst defeats of his 35-year managerial career and admitted the season has been a disaster.
The Red Devils were smashed 4-0 by midtable Brighton thanks to goals from Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard.
Incensed away fans accused the United players of not being fit to wear the shirt as their side made it 56 league goals shipped for the campaign – their worst record since 1979.
Rangnick, 63, said: “It’s important that we apologise to our supporters who came all the way from Manchester to Brighton.
“We were just not good enough from start to finish. The performance was not only poor, it was extremely poor.”
This was possibly the worst performance of United’s catastrophic season which has been littered with poor displays.
Being walloped 9-0 on aggregate across two games with arch-rivals Liverpool stand out.
But Rangnick compared it to the 4-1 walloping at Watford in November which got Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked and led to the German’s arrival on an interim basis.
Yet when asked if the players simply do not care, as many supporters seem to think, the newly-appointed Austria chief replied: “No, I have to defend the players here.
“I don’t think that they are (an uncaring bunch). I saw them in training, I saw them against Brentford (where they won 3-0). For me it is clear not to change that winning team. We had a good week of training.
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“I remember watching the game against Watford away, 4-1, who are now relegated, and this looked very similar to what happened today.
“For me the problem is how to defend as a team. In this league, if you play against good teams, and Brighton is a good team, if you do not defend properly, if you just let them play and give them all the time in the world, this the result.
“It was a humiliating defeat today. Even more so for a team like Manchester United.
“I think that was the second highest defeat in my whole career as a coach in the last 35 years.
“It’s not only that you lose 4-0, it was also the way we played. This is just unacceptable.”
Rangnick’s failed interim reign ends this summer when Ajax chief Erik Ten Hag takes over.
I’m still positive that we can change the whole issue
This is officially United’s worst season, points wise, in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Asked if it had been a disaster, Rangnick replied: “Yes. But I’m still very positive with Erik Ten Hag that we have a top manager next season.
“The board has already made some changes and there will be more to come in the summer.
“I’m still positive that we can change the whole issue and show a completely different face next season. This is important not only for our fans but also for the image of the whole club.”
It was probably Brighton’s standout display of the Graham Potter era and it moved them up to ninth.
Potter said: “We’ve had a bit of pain here this season in terms of not winning in front of our supporters.
“We owe them one and it is a special evening for us. A fantastic performance and an amazing result.”