Erik ten Hag confirms Cristiano Ronaldo refused to play against Tottenham.
Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on as a late substitute against Tottenham before leaving the game early on Wednesday.
As punishment for leaving early during a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has dropped Ronaldo for Saturday's trip to Chelsea, which will be broadcast live on All Sports.
Ten Hag confirmed reports that Ronaldo refused to play in his pre-match press conference, saying, "What (happened in) the talk is between Cristiano and me." The (club) statement is also unambiguous.
"As manager, I am responsible for the top sport culture here, and I must set standards and values as well as control them." We work as a group.
"I said it was unacceptable after Rayo Vallecano, but he wasn't the only one." That applies to everyone when it occurs for the second time. That is exactly what we did. We'll miss him tomorrow; it's a loss for the team, but I believe it's necessary for the group's attitude and mentality."
Ten Hag stated that Ronaldo "remains an important part of the squad," despite the fact that the striker will train on his own on Friday.
"I think it will be a reflection for him as well as for everyone else," Ten Hag said of Ronaldo's punishment. "I issued a warning at the start of the season, and the next time there will be repercussions. When you live together and play together, football is a team sport, and you must meet certain standards, which I must enforce."
'We must win at Chelsea.'
Man United defeated top-four rivals Tottenham on Wednesday, but the Ronaldo incident threatened to overshadow their preparations for the trip to Chelsea.
Ten Hag insists that their sole focus has been on their journey to Stamford Bridge. "It's about Chelsea, we have a big game to play, all my focus is on that game, all the staff's focus is on that game, all the players' focus is on that game," he said. We have to win that game and do everything we can, so we need to be completely focused in order to prepare for it and play our best.
"When you play in top football, there are rumors and noise, but you have to focus on your job, which is to perform tomorrow."
Ronaldo: Sometimes we let the heat of the moment get to us.
"As I've always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, adversaries, and coaches," Ronaldo said in a statement on Thursday. That is still the case. I've not changed.
"I'm the same person and professional I've been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a huge role in my decision-making process."
"I started when I was very young, and the examples of the older and more experienced players were always very important to me." As a result, in the years since, I've always tried to set a good example for the young people who have grown up in all of the teams that I've represented.
"Unfortunately, that is not always possible, and sometimes our emotions get the best of us.
"I just feel like I need to keep working hard in Carrington, support my teammates, and be prepared for anything in any given game right now. It is not an option to give in to the pressure. It was never the case.
"This is Manchester United, and we must stand together. We'll be back together soon."