Ten Hag reflects on Cristiano Ronaldo decision at Man Utd – ‘I sleep well’

Will Ford
Former Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag during a match

Erik ten Hag has opened up on the “obvious” decision he made to drop Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool in August ahead of the reverse fixture on Sunday.

Ten Hag dropped Ronaldo in his third game in charge at Old Trafford, ahead of the striker’s acrimonious departure from the club in November.

It was the first of a number of major calls which have paid off for the Dutch manager, as he takes his team to Anfield on Sunday still in contention for four trophies.

Reflecting on his call to drop Ronaldo, Ten Hag said: “I have to see and face the consequences of it, the impact of the decisions not only in the short-term but also for the longer-term. Of course, you don’t always have a lot of time, in that period I remember we had 10 days so I could consider which choice would be the best.

“You always have to think strategic, what is the consequence longer-term. I am aware of it but that is my job and that is the responsibility I have to take.

“I had reasons (for the decision). They were obvious. And I knew also the consequence and also if it was a negative outcome from that game. That is always possible in football.

“But I am not worrying. I sleep well also in those nights. I have to take the decisions in respect in advance of the club and the team. That is my job and that is the responsibility I have to take and I have to stand for those decisions.”

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Ten Hag is looking forward to the challenge of Anfield, insisting he is taking a team of “warriors” to take on Jurgen Klopp’s side.

“I know what to expect. I have seen the games between Liverpool and Manchester United, so I know what is going on there,” he said.

“But I have been in many hostile stadiums. This might be the worst, but I know what’s going on there. I am really looking forward to it – and I know my players are the same.”