Ten Hag explains Cristiano's inclusion

Saturday 13 August 2022 17:19

Erik ten Hag insists Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to make his first start of the Dutchman's tenure at Manchester United, despite only featuring for 45 minutes of the club's pre-season schedule.

The Reds' no.7 has been selected in Ten Hag's starting line-up for today's Premier League game away to Brentford, after coming on as a second-half substitute in the opening weekend defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.

"It was short [pre-season] but Ronaldo is Ronaldo. He can do that," the United boss told our reporter Stewart Gardner.

"He proved that so often in the past. He's a really fit guy and he has to show that today."
Erik: We have to show the right mentality Video

Erik: We have to show the right mentality

Ten Hag covers Ronaldo, Eriksen and Fernandes – and the hot weather – in his pre-match interview...

Expanding further on the reasons for recalling Ronaldo, Erik told Sky Sports: "We had problems with numbers in the squad, in the offensive part. He’s now had two-and-a-half weeks of training, and two halves in games.

"He is a threat, he can score goals. That’s why [he starts]. We saw in the second half last week when he came on, he makes a difference in the game. And it’s what we expect today, as well."
United's front man can expect to be a target for a supply line featuring the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen, with the latter facing his previous club Brentford for the first time since making his summer switch to Old Trafford.

"He [Christian] has to dominate the game, like everyone," Ten Hag said on MUTV.

"He can be a factor, in possession, he can make a difference. As we all know, his creativity, together with Bruno, they link together better every day and so I have expectations from that."

Finally, on the fact the game will be played in sweltering conditions at the Gtech Community Stadium in West London, Ten Hag commented: "For everyone it's hot, for both teams it's hot. So it's a matter of mentality and that is what we have to show.

"Both teams have the same problem, so deal with it."

You can see both line-ups and follow live updates in the Match Centre on the United App and ManUtd.com.