anchester United boss Erik ten Hag says he “slept well” after dropping Cristiano Ronaldo for victory over Liverpool earlier this season.
Embarrassed by defeats against Brighton and Brentford, the Dutchman made the bold and some thought a brazen move to drop Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Harry Maguire.
United fans turned up at Old Trafford fearing a serious beating from Jurgen Klopp’s team. Instead, United won 2-1 with a brand of thrilling counter-attacking football spearheaded by Marcus Rashford.
“I do consider big decisions like that, definitely,” he says ahead of today’s trip to Anfield. “I have to look at the impact they make, not only in the short term but also for the longer term. You always have to think strategically as a manager and face the consequences. I am aware of it but that is my job and my responsibility.
“I had reasons to choose that team against Liverpool. They were obvious. And I knew the reaction if it had been a negative outcome, which is always possible in football.
“But I am not worrying. I sleep well also in those nights. I have to take the decisions in respect of the club and the team. I have to stand by those decisions.”
Ten Hag doesn’t beat about the bush when asked if he inherited a lack of discipline on arrival.
“There was and I don’t have to lie about it,” he says. “Top players like structure, not only on the pitch. So you need some rules.
“I think it’s obvious in every organisation that when there are no rules and no discipline in taking those rules seriously, then you create a mess.
“That’s not only at a football club but in every job, also in broadcasting or newspapers. It was quite obvious because I could see on the pitch what was going on.”