Erik ten Hag decided against bringing on Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester United’s 6-3 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday and the Dutch coach explained that he did so out of respect for the Portuguese star, as the score was already at 4-0 at half-time.
Following the derby defeat, Ten Hag started Ronaldo against Omonia in the Europa League and Manchester United legend Paul Scholes wasn’t pleased by the former Ajax boss’ decision.
“I think it is almost more disrespectful playing him on a Thursday night in the Europa League,” Scholes told BT Sport.
“This man is a world superstar. I am not saying at 37 years of age he should be starting the games, the big games especially, but this is a competition that is hard to get yourself motivated for.
“I don’t like saying that, but it’s true when you are a big player at a big club like this.
“He has to change his mentality now, and because he is so strong mentally.”
Manchester United are lacking intensity
Ten Hag believes that his team have been lacking intensity in this first stretch of the season, even as Manchester United bounced back after their derby loss with a 3-2 comeback win away at Omonia.
“We have to carry on and every time learn the lessons and give the maximum, because only good for me is good enough and, at this moment, by far we are not that good,” Ten Hag told the press.
“We have seen this on Sunday and we have to do much better.
“I think the main problem is, and that is what we did in games before much better, intensity.
“We have to bring every game the intensity on the pitch. That was the big difference between City and us, so that is the demand to our squad, to all of our players, you have to take responsibility for that.”