Ronaldo reaction 'no problem at all' says Ralf
Ralf Rangnick says there is no need for any "fuss" around Cristiano Ronaldo's substitution during United's 3-1 win over Brentford.
The Portuguese superstar was replaced by Harry Maguire after 71 minutes at the Brentford Community Stadium, and was disappointed to leave the field.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Reds' game with West Ham on Saturday (kick-off at 15:00 GMT), the club's interim manager said the decision was a tactical one influenced by our 2-2 draw with Aston Villa a few days earlier.
Rangnick suggested that while the 36-year-old's reaction was emotional, it was normal and understandable.
Rangnick explains Ronaldo substitution v Brentford Video
Rangnick explains Ronaldo substitution v Brentford
"We shouldn't make too much of a fuss out of it," said Ralf, when asked about taking Cristiano off in midweek...
“I think we shouldn't make too much of a fuss out of it,” Ralf began. “I explained that to him, even during the game, when we had that little conversation after we scored the third goal.
“That a player like Cristiano doesn't like to be substituted, for me, is pretty normal. His reaction was emotional, but for me this is not a problem at all.
“A job of a football manager is to help teams win games. For me it was clear after the experience at Villa Park [where we lost a 2-0 lead] that this time we have to do things better. We did it better and the only question was: 'Who do we take off?'”
Ralf chose to remove Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood, while opting to introduce an extra defender in Maguire and the counter-attacking pace of Marcus Rashford.
“Of course, Cristiano is a prolific goalscorer and as a player will always want to play and score goals,” he accepted.
“He was also asking: 'Why me? Why not take off one of the younger players?' The answer to that came five minutes later when one of the younger players [Rashford] scored the third goal.
“Maybe Cristiano could have also scored that third but football is not always about maybe. It's about taking the decision in the right moment.”
Rashford puts Brentford to bed Video
Rashford puts Brentford to bed
Marcus Rashford came on to seal the points at Brentford in January from a Bruno Fernandes assist...
Rangnick went on to praise Ronaldo for his sublime contribution to our second goal, scored by Greenwood.
“Cristiano gave the assist for the second goal, when he chested the ball to Bruno,” he enthused.
“It was tactically, by the way, one of the best situations in the game, that our central striker came towards the ball and at the same time, Bruno as one of our eights was sprinting vertical.
“This was the reason why we, in the end, were able to create an easy tap-in goal for Mason.”
Mason finishes off a brilliant team move! Video
Mason finishes off a brilliant team move!
McTominay, Ronaldo and Fernandes combined beautifully for our second, which was tapped home by Greenwood...
The German went on to confirm that there “no problem at all” with the situation, and that he is used to dealing with offensive players who want to stay on to score as many goals as possible.
“I've been managing other players – maybe not with quite as a big a name as Cristiano – but I also had players like Krasimir Balakov, like a young Klaas Huntelaar, or Raul at Schalke, Ebbe Sand...
“So I know how offensive players behave and react to this sort of substitution. But again, it's about our team, it’s about getting points. We are in a position where every single game is of great importance to where we need to make sure we get the maximum amount of points out of it. This is the most important part.
“It doesn’t matter who it is – whether it’s Cristiano, Edinson or Bruno, any other player. Bruno has also been substituted and he was not happy with that in the last couple of weeks. It is about what is in the best interests of the team and the club.”