Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag confirms forward refused to come on against Tottenham


Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag confirms forward refused to come on against Tottenham


Erik ten Hag confirms Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on against Tottenham

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on as a late substitute against Tottenham on Wednesday before the forward left the game.

Ten Hag has dropped Ronaldo for Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, as punishment, after he previously left early, following half-time withdrawal, in a pre-season friendly draw against Rayo Vallecano on July, 31.

He confirmed reports Ronaldo refused to come on, during his pre-match press conference ahead of Chelsea meeting and added that he had a discussion with Ronaldo on Thursday morning at Carrington.

“Details (of the discussion) are between Cristiano Ronaldo and me. The statement is also clear,” he said.

“I’m the manager. I’m responsible for the culture and I have to set standards and values, and I have to control them. We are in a team and in a team we have standards and values, and we have to control it.

“So after Rayo Vallecano I said it was not acceptable, but he was not the only one. That was for everyone. So when it’s the second time, that will have consequences, and that is what we did.

“So we miss him tomorrow and that is a miss for us and the squad. It’s a miss, but I think it’s important for the attitude for the mentality for the group.

Ten Hag said that Ronaldo’s removal from the squad will have a reflection on him and the rest of the squad, stressing why the club responded with a punishment this time.

When asked if Ronaldo will be able to play a part going forward, he said: “Yes. That’s also in the statement. He remains an important part of the squad.”

Ten Hag said that their focus is fully on the Chelsea game, highlighting United willingness to win the game.

“I think that’s part, when you play in top football, that sometimes there’s rumours, there’s noise, and don’t get deflected. You have to focus on the job and that is perform tomorrow.”

Ronaldo released a statement yesterday after United dropped him and said: “As I’ve always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, my adversaries and my coaches. That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed.

“I’m the same person and the same professional that I’ve been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a very important role in my decision-making process.

“I started very young, the older and most experienced players examples were always very important to me.

“Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented.

“Unfortunately that’s not always possible and sometimes the heat of the moment gets the best of us.

“Right now, I just feel I have to keep working hard in Carrington, support my team-mates and be ready for everything in any given game. Giving in to the pressure is not an option. It never was.

“This is Manchester United and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again.”

The Portuguese international trained alone on Friday, with rumours suggesting he could be on his way out of the club once the January transfer window opens.