Erik ten Hag, manager of Manchester United, stated that Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League victory over Sheriff Tiraspol was a deserved reward for his perseverance after returning to the squad following disciplinary concerns.
Ronaldo was kept out of the club’s Premier League trip to Chelsea on Saturday after he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur. He trained away from the team throughout the last days of the previous week.
After Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rashford had given United the lead, he scored United’s third goal to secure a spot in the knockout phase of Europe’s second-tier club competition.
“He persevered to place himself in advantageous circumstances. I believe that’s what his entire career has been about, and that’s why he’s so good,” said Ten Hag.
“In the end, he was rewarded for his efforts. The pressure is constant. Ronaldo is aware of this, and we must accept it. All United players understand this. All top scorers require this certification on a consistent basis.
“Tonight, he received his confirmation once more, and he will grow as a result. He’s starving. He plays with a strong desire to score as many goals as possible. To place him in the appropriate positions, both he and his team must invest significantly.”
Ten Hag stated that he was prepared to “correct” Antony after the Brazilian forward was criticized for his 720-degree spin before kicking the ball out of play for a goal kick.
“I have no problem with tricks as long as they serve a purpose,” said Ten Hag, adding that his substitution of the forward at halftime was unrelated to the move.
“I expect more from him, including more runs behind, more time in the box, and more pocket play. When there is a trick, it is nice if it is functional. If you are not losing the ball, it is acceptable, but if it is a trick for the sake of a trick, I will correct you.”