Graham Potter reacts to Cristiano Ronaldo being axed by Manchester United for Chelsea game
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 21
The Portuguese star will not travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday (Pictures: Getty / ChelseaTV)

has backed Erik ten Hag’s decision to axe from ’s squad to face and says managers sometimes have to make difficult decisions.

The Portuguese superstar stormed down the tunnel before the end of United’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday night and was banished from senior team training as punishment.

Ronaldo will not travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, with Erik ten Hag confirming at his own pre-match press conference on Friday that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had refused to come on against Spurs before storming off.

Potter has already beaten United once this season when in charge of Brighton – a match Ronaldo did not start after not reporting to training for much of the summer and leaving the club’s final pre-season friendly early against Rayo Vallecano.

The new Chelsea boss did not want to go too in-depth on the Ronaldo situation, but he suggested he would have drawn a similar line to Ten Hag after the 37-year-old’s latest disciplinary issue.

Asked what he has made of Ten Hag’s handling of the Ronaldo situation, Potter replied: ‘Well I can’t really comment because I don’t know the ins and outs.

‘But he’s taken his stance, sometimes you have to do that. And then you need the club’s support and from the outside that’s what has happened.’

Ronaldo has been made to train with the youth team (Picture: Getty)

Probed on whether he would have taken a similar approach, Potter continued: ‘Well it’s difficult for me to comment because I don’t know the actual context, I don’t know what’s really happened, I don’t want to go off headlines and things like that.

‘Part of the job is to take some decisions that are difficult, but that’s normal.’

Speaking earlier in the day about his decision to reprimand Ronaldo, Ten Hag said: ‘What the talk – if you ask about that – is between Cristiano and me, the statement is also clear, I think. He remains an important player in the squad.

‘I am the manager, I am responsible for the culture here and I have to set standards and values and I have to control them. In the team, we have values and standards and I have to control that.

‘After Vallecano [when Ronaldo left early during a friendly] I told him it was unacceptable but not just him everyone. This is the second time, there are consequences.

‘We miss him tomorrow. It’s a miss for the squad but it’s important for the attitude and mentality of the group and now we have to focus on Chelsea as that is important.’

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