ALL-FOR-RONALDO: He proved stubborn and I must set standards for everyone- Erik ten Hag

Erik Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on as a late substitute against Tottenham before the striker left early during Wednesday’s victory.

The Manchester United manager has dropped Ronaldo for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea, live on Sky Sports, as punishment, after he previously left early during a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

In his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag confirmed reports Ronaldo refused to come on and said: “What (happened in) the talk is between Cristiano and me. The (club) statement is also clear.

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

“After Rayo Vallecano I said it’s unacceptable but he wasn’t the only one. That is for everyone, when it’s the second time it will have consequence. That is now what we did. We’ll miss him tomorrow, it’s a miss for the squad but I think it’s important for the attitude, mentality for the group.”

Ten Hag reiterated the club’s statement that Ronaldo “remains an important part of the squad” although the striker will train on his own on Friday.

“I think it will be a reflection for him and also for everyone else,” said Ten Hag on what he hoped Ronaldo’s punishment would achieve. “I set a warning at the start of the season and the next time it has to be consequence. When you are living together, playing together, football is a team sport and you have to fulfil certain standards and I have to control it.”