Sulky sub: Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) did not hide his disappointment at being withdrawn against Newcastle
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he has no problem with Cristiano Ronaldo’s protests at being substituted during the Red Devils’ 0-0 draw with Newcastle.
Ronaldo was handed his first Premier League start since an embarrassing 4-0 thrashing by Brentford in August, but was hauled off on Sunday with United chasing a winner 18 minutes from time.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed his disgust with the decision as he trudged off the field shaking his head.
“I think no player is happy when he comes off and especially not Ronaldo. I understand that,” said Ten Hag at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tottenham’s visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“As long as it’s a quiet normal way, no problem with that. Of course he is convinced he should stay on and he should score a goal. That’s why he is that good.”
The decision to withdraw Ronaldo was questioned by some United fans after his replacement, Marcus Rashford, headed wide a glorious chance to win the game in stoppage time.
But Ten Hag believes his side should have already been in front when Ronaldo had a goal ruled out early in the second half.
The Portuguese believed he was entitled to roll the ball into an unguarded net after Fabian Schar appeared to play a free-kick back towards Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope.
However, referee Craig Pawson was still indicating for an indirect free-kick to be taken by Pope.
United have been charged by the Football Association after a number of players surrounded Pawson in protest, with Ronaldo shown a yellow card.
“I must say, I don’t think it was too strong,” Ten Hag added on the charge.
“It wasn’t really aggressive but I don’t know what’s happening exactly on the pitch because I was too far away.
“I’ve seen it back on the video. There was a touch from the Newcastle player, that was quite clear and they went to go to the ref to ask about (it).”
Ronaldo is in line for another start with Anthony Martial still not fit to return, but United could have Christian Eriksen available to face his former club.