Bruno Fernandes reveals Erik ten Hag ‘pulled apart’ Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford at Manchester United


Bruno Fernandes reveals Manchester United’s players were questioning whether Erik ten Hag would follow through with his no-nonsense approach (BT Sport)

Bruno Fernandes has revealed that Manchester United’s players were initially sceptical of Erik ten Hag’s tough stance at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag has shown no hesitation in laying down the law since his arrival at Old Trafford last summer and set an early marker in August when he branded Cristiano Ronaldo’s conduct ‘unacceptable’ for leaving the stadium early during a pre-season game.

The Dutchman also had no issue with dropping Marcus Rashford after he was late for a team meeting in December.

Fernandes claims United’s squad did initially question whether Ten Hag would follow through with his hard-line approach but insists his manager’s determination to instil discipline in the team has paid off.

‘He [Ten Hag] first arrived and we went on tour and the training sessions we had, he demands, he demands from people – you do it or you’re out, you don’t play,’ Fernandes told BT Sport.

‘Everyone in the beginning [was asking], ‘will he do it or not, if a big player doesn’t do what he wants, will he pull him apart or not?’. He did it. He did it many times, he did it with Cristiano, he did it with Jadon, he did it with Marcus also.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Manchester United - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - November 6, 2022 Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag talks to Cristiano Ronaldo and Donny van de Beek before the start of the second half REUTERS/Carl Recine / File Photo EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details./

Erik ten Hag had no hesitation in showing Cristiano Ronaldo the door at Manchester United (Reuters)

‘In the big moments, Marcus wasn’t in the best form against Wolves, he did something wrong, the manager just put him out and everyone was like, ‘wow’.

‘In the first moment for all of us it was like, ‘wow, he’s been our main man, we need him’. But in the second one I was sitting with David [De Gea] and I said to him, ‘it has to be like this, if not the younger ones will think he’s done nothing to him so he’ll do nothing to me too’.

‘He demands that from Rashy, you have to be consistent in everything, not only in the game, your goals and your performance but off the pitch also.

‘Obviously, Marcus in the beginning was hungry because he wants to play but he did nothing wrong, he accepted it, he went to the game comes on and scores and we win.

‘It’s the way it has to be. I’m a parent, sometimes you have to make some rules at your house, if not they will go over you and in a short period of time they will be the owners of the house.’

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