Erik ten Hag had “no problem” with Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction to his substitution in Manchester United’s goalless draw with Newcastle United.
Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure when he was replaced by Marcus Rashford in the 72nd minute of Sunday’s stalemate at Old Trafford, muttering to himself as he left the pitch.
The 37-year-old has had to make do with a bit-part role under Ten Hag this season, with either Rashford or Anthony Martial often preferred to lead United’s attack.
Ronaldo, who was making only his second Premier League start of the campaign, left Old Trafford midway through a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano after being substituted earlier this year.
Ten Hag however insisted that he had no issue with Ronaldo’s frustration on Sunday, believing it to be the mark of a quality player.
“I think no player is happy when he comes off, especially not Ronaldo. I understand that. As long as it’s a quiet normal way, no problem with that.
“Of course he is convinced he should stay on and score a goal, that’s why he’s that good.”
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Tottenham in last season’s corresponding fixture, but Ten Hag suggested that would not be the only factor when selecting his starting line-up.
“I know [about the hat-trick] and of course you know. For a line-up, several facts you count on but other facts you take account of.”