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Ten Hag addresses Cristiano Ronaldo role after Liverpool snub

Erik ten Hag
© Manchester United FC

CR7 was benched for Man Utd’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is certain Cristiano Ronaldo still has a key role in the squad.

Ten Hag dropped the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to the bench for United’s clash with Liverpool on Monday. He instead opted for Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Elanga in a free-flowing front three. Sancho and Rashford repaid the coach’s faith by scoring the goals that propelled the club to a 2-1 win over Jurgen Klopp’s side at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo had to wait until the 86th minute to enter the pitch as a substitute for Rashford, but Ten Hag remains convinced CR7 can adapt to his style.

“I think he can,” said the United manager.

“The whole of his career under several managers he did, several styles and systems. He always performed, so why can’t he do this?

“His age is not an issue. If you are good enough and you’re old and you still deliver performances, you are also good enough.”

Ten Hag also dropped captain Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, and Fred as part of four changes to the side that lost 4-0 to Brentford in the previous match.

“The demand is for everyone, including the manager,” Ten Hag added about Maguire and Ronaldo’s absences from the lineup.

“We have to deliver. You have an obligation to the club, to the fans. This is a massive club with a huge fanbase, and we have to deliver that. We have to act as a team, and every individual, every day, has to give their best. That is the demand for the manager and also for the team.”

United return to action on Saturday for a trip to Southampton in the Premier League.

New signing Casemiro could be available for Ten Hag’s side after watching the 2-1 win over Liverpool from the stands on Monday.