Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag, has given his reasons for leaving Cristiano Ronaldo out of the team travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
Ronaldo had refused to come on as a late sub in the match against Conte’s Tottenham on Wednesday night leaving ten Hag to state that his focus was on the tie against Chelsea and he “will deal with that tomorrow.”
Speaking during a media briefing that was dominated by questions on Ronaldo’s display, the Dutchman said he was responsible for the culture and had to set standards and values and control them.
“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,” the United boss said.
“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 of the group, and now we have to focus on Chelsea and that is the most important [thing].”
Asked what he hoped dropping the Portuguese from the team will achieve, he responded “I think it will have a reflection, for him, but also for everyone else. I set a warning at the start of the season, and the next time it has to be the consequence.”
Speaking on the effects the punishment will have on the team insisted that such an occurrence was part of the sport and rumours shouldn’t deflect the team from Saturday’s crunch tie for the fourth spot on the Premier League table.
Ten Hag also said he was relishing the big wins at Old Trafford against the top sides in the league.
“It’s fabulous to play on Old Trafford, with our fans in our back. So, a great experience, every time again. And I think opponents don’t like to play at Old Trafford. But at the same time,” he said.
“I like to play away games because the stadiums in the Premier League are fantastic. So I am really looking forward to Stamford Bridge. Already I have that experience to play there, so I know how the atmosphere is there, so it’s fantastic.”