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Erik ten Hag discusses decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo vs Liverpool in August

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted he ‘sleeps well’ after making the bold call to take Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting lineup for their win against Liverpool in August.


The Dutchman made a horrendous start to life in the Old Trafford hot-seat, with the Red Devils rooted to the foot of the Premier League table after suffering humiliating defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

But their fortunes began to change when they recorded a statement 2-1 win at home to rivals Liverpool, with Ten Hag opting to bench want-away forward Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar was a bit-part player under Ten Hag up until the mutual termination of his contract in November, and United have gone from strength to strength since.

Ahead of their reverse fixture with Liverpool, Ten Hag opened up on this decision to drop Ronaldo for the benefit of the team.

“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,” he said.

“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 [to drop Ronaldo]. 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.”