Scott McTominay was man-of-the-match as Manchester United ended 2021 with a much-needed win against a depleted Burnley side, with a deflected Jadon Sancho shot and Cristiano Ronaldo goal seeing United score three times before half-time.
There remains plenty of work for interim boss Rangnick to do, the victory against an under-strength Burnley continued the unbeaten start to his reign at Old Trafford and came as a welcome relief after a challenging few days.
After a lacklustre display in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Monday was backed up by rumours of discontent among some players in the United squad, they needed to bounce back and McTominay believes they did that against Burnley.
If we bang in two or three at Newcastle it gives the whole team energy. It is so important. Now is the time we really start stepping up and doing much, much better. The manager is so demanding and we play for Man Utd, it is what we have to do.
"The game against Newcastle was difficult and we have to bounce back from that," said the midfielder. "The manager said we set the record for the most amount of turnovers in the league. We had to keep the ball better.
"Goals help energy. If we bang in two or three at Newcastle it gives the whole team energy. It is so important. Now is the time we really start stepping up and doing much, much better. The manager is so demanding and we play for Man Utd, it is what we have to do.
"We are all learning and adapting. We play for Man Utd, we are dominant and we need to get results. We need to do more and hopefully in 2022 we can do that.
"Body language is one thing and the manager has come in and said he wants to cut that out, so that is final. We have taken it on board.
"It is the old cliché, but we don't want to look too far ahead. The next game against Wolves is the most important thing."
Rangnick admitted his side had to battle to get the victory, as he admitted a top four finish may be the only realistic target for his side heading into the new year.
"As expected it was a very tough, physical game against a team who play very physical," said the German. "We also showed the qualities we have in our team. It was important to raise the energy level.
"The whole team performance was a lot better, I was pleased with the performances of our wingers. Jadon Sancho did well and Mason Greenwood. Eddie (Cavani) and Cristiano Ronaldo, the effort was amazing.
"I wouldn't say fourth is the minimum. It is about taking next development steps. Now eight games in a row without a defeat. We have to focus on the next game now."
United are now up to sixth placed in the Premier League, four points behind fourth placed Arsenal with a game in hand.