‘It takes time, you cannot force it’: Erik ten Hag calls for patience after his bold call to bench Cristiano Ronaldo in defeat by Brighton… as he says the wantaway star ‘has to do more to get fit’
- Erik ten Hag has implored wantaway Cristiano Ronaldo to ‘do more to get fit’
- The Dutch coach admitted that he needs to be patient with the Portuguese star
- Ronaldo missed most of pre-season after trying to find an exit from Old Trafford
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has challenged Cristiano Ronaldo to improve his fitness levels as soon as possible, keen to utilise the wantaway star following his substitute appearance against Brighton.
The Red Devils made a disappointing start to their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 home defeat to Graham Potter’s side, who put United two goals down at the end of the first-half.
Ronaldo, who missed out on most of pre-season after expressing his desire to exit Old Trafford, came on in the second-half to help United claw one back.
Erik ten Hag implored Cristiano Ronaldo to ‘do more to get fit’ after missing most of pre-season
After the match, Ten Hag urged his Portuguese superstar to ‘do more’ to get up to full fitness.
The Dutchman told Sky Sports: ‘It takes time, you cannot force it. He is one week in training.
‘He has to do more to get fit. This game will help and he will be better next week.’
The Portuguese star was named on the bench during Man United’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton
It was a nightmare start for Ten Hag as Man United found themselves 2-0 down at half-time
The Red Devils manager preferred the shape of his United side after Ronaldo’s introduction, with creative new playmaker Christian Eriksen able to drop deeper into midfield.
‘It was clear to see in the second half we were better in the midfield,’ he said. ‘Christian Eriksen down and Cristiano Ronaldo up.
‘We created and had really good chances. It is a pity we didn’t score them.’