Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag reveals what’s next for Ronaldo after Man Utd striker goes rogue – ‘This is the second time, there are consequences’

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on against Tottenham, and outlined whether he still has a future at the club.

United are gearing up to face Chelsea in a fifth against fourth Premier League clash. The Red Devils will come into the tie with confidence, having not lost in any of their last five games in all competitions.

In their last league game, United beat another ‘top-six’ side in Tottenham. Goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes were enough for Ten Hag’s side to down the north London outfit 2-0.

The result was nowhere near the biggest talking point after the game, though. The headlines were filled by United forward Ronaldo after he strode down the tunnel before the end of the game.

Speculation has been rife regarding what exactly went on, after United released a statement stating Ronaldo would not feature against Chelsea this weekend as part of his punishment.

In his pre-match press conference, Erik ten Hag confirmed that Ronaldo refused to come onto the pitch when asked.

Ronaldo has previous

It marked the second such incident after Ronaldo was embroiled in similar controversy against Rayo Vallecano in pre-season. On that day, Ronaldo again left before the full time whistle.

“After Vallecano, I told him it was unacceptable but not him, everyone. This is the second time, there are consequences,” Ten Hag said, quoted by Manchester Evening News.

The manager clearly feels that dropping Ronaldo following the incident will benefit both the player and the side.

“It will have a [time for] reflection for him, but also for everyone else,” he added.

“But at the same time it’s about Chelsea. We have a big game to play, my focus is on the game, the focus of the staff and the players is on that game.

“I think that is part when you play in top football. There is noise, rumours, you’ve got to focus.”

On whether Ronaldo still has a future at Old Trafford, Ten Hag insisted the striker remains an important player in his squad.

Whether that’s just the Dutchman delivering a diplomatic response to help Man Utd move on from the debacle is open to debate.

“The statement is also clear, I think,” he continued. “He remains an important player in the squad.

“I am the manager, I am responsible for the culture here and I have to set standards and values and I have to control them. In the team, we have values and standards and I have to control that.”

United up to the task at Stamford Bridge

An away match represents a good challenge for United, especially given that Chelsea are above them in the league. What’s more, the Blues are in good form at home, having won their last two games there, scoring six goals in the process.

However, Ten Hag feels that his side are ready for the challenge.

“For me it is never an issue away from home,” he continued.

“The pitch is the same size, 11 vs 11, there is a ref and we always have a lot of support from our fans.”

Ten Hag is also relishing facing Graham Potter again after their first meeting saw the now Blues boss come out on top.

Brighton defeated Man Utd 2-1 on opening day when Potter was still on the south coast.

“It is nothing, I think from that game. It is a different team, different game. We are further in the process,” Ten Hag said.

“Now I know more about him and maybe in the first game he knew more about me, Manchester United. It is not a fight between managers.”

United fans will hope that is true, as a win will see the Red Devils leapfrog Chelsea in the table.