Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Rangnick draws line under Ronaldo issue with justification; provides Lindelof update after family scare

Samuel Bannister
Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United interim boss at St James' Park reacting to 1-1 Premier League draw

Ralf Rangnick is standing by his decision to take Cristiano Ronaldo off for Manchester United in their most recent match, although he wants to move on from the incident.

Ronaldo was taken off in the second half of United’s win over Brentford on Wednesday. The forward’s reaction showed he did not take too kindly to Rangnick’s decision.

The Portuguese legend was seen speaking under his breath as he left the pitch, before throwing his coat down and sitting on the stairs.

Rangnick will need to get Ronaldo back on the same page for United’s upcoming fixtures. But he thinks it is the right time to move on from what happened, after explaining again his side of the story.

The interim manager said: “Well, I think we shouldn’t make too much of a fuss out of it. I can only speak for myself and my coaching staff.

“I explained that to him during the game, we had a little conversation after we score the third goal. In fact, I told him the same as what I said in our press conference.

“The job of a football manager is to help the team win the game and it was clear from our experience at Villa Park that this time we have to do things better. We did it better and the only question was, who do we take off?

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“Of course, Cristiano is a prolific goalscorer and he’s a player that will always want to play and score goals. He was also asking, ‘why me?’, ‘why didn’t you take off one of the younger players?’.

“The answer came five minutes later when one of the younger players scored the third goal. Maybe Cristiano could have also scored the third goal but football is not about maybe, it is about taking a decision in the right moment.”

Off-field factors affect duo’s availability, Rangnick reveals

Rangnick was speaking in view of Man Utd’s next Premier League match. They host West Ham in a 3pm kick-off on Saturday.

It is an opportunity for them to build momentum after beating Brentford last time out. But they had to do that without some senior players and the same will go for the West Ham match.

Jadon Sancho missed the Brentford win after being at a funeral. Rangnick is still to decide whether he is ready to return.

Jadon Sancho during a warm up

“He didn’t train yesterday because he still asked us to not train. He attended a funeral on Wednesday. It still affected him quite a lot.

“He is expected back to training this afternoon at three o’clock, but right now I’m not sure if he will be available for the game tomorrow.

“It was an important member of the family, somebody he was close to all his life. I have to wait and see, speak to him before training and after training and take the decision.”

One definite absentee for United will be Victor Lindelof, whose home was broken into on Wednesday night. His wife and children had to hide, and have since returned to Sweden for the time being.

Therefore, Rangnick agrees with Lindelof’s decision that it would not be right for him to be playing this weekend, instead preferring to be with his family.

Manchester United's Victor Lindelof in action during the Premier League match against Everton at Old Trafford

“I spoke with him at length on our flight back home from London and also this morning. We spoke for 20 or 25 minutes.

“He told me what actually happened, that this was a traumatic event, especially for his wife and three-year-old son.

“He said to me right now he needs to stay at home, he doesn’t want to leave his wife and family on their own, which I can fully understand, being a father of two children myself. We agreed he will not be on duty tomorrow for the game.”

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