Michael Carrick was adamant Ralf Rangnick had no role in Manchester United's gameplan for their 1-1 draw at Chelsea, but the club's impending interim manager would have taken heart from the way they frustrated the Premier League leaders.
Rangnick, currently working as Lokomotiv Moscow's director of sports and development, is expected to be installed this week as United boss until the end of the season.
The German has been in talks with United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked, leaving Carrick to take the reins for the Champions League win against Villarreal and Sunday's gritty performance at Stamford Bridge.
Former United defender Gary Neville said Carrick's decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo and pick a defensive 4-3-3 formation with no recognised striker against Chelsea was a sign that Rangnick was already having an influenced.
"I've a feeling the incoming manager has picked that team as it's a huge departure from midweek," Neville tweeted. There were also suggestions United technical director Darren Fletcher was sitting on the bench with an earpiece that may have been linked up to Rangnick.
Carrick refuted Neville's claim, saying: "No, that's not the case." Asked if he knew when Rangnick would arrived, Carrick added: "As of now I haven't got any more news for you really.
"I was purely focused on the game, so there was enough in my head to prepare the boys for this. "I'm sure I'll be updated and aware and see what happens in the next few days."
Regardless of Rangnick's role in United's defiant draw, the 63-year-old will surely arrive at Old Trafford encouraged by the way they held firm against in-form Chelsea.