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Erik Ten Hag breaks silence on Cristiano Ronaldo exclusion vs Brighton

Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag has explained his decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo in his starting lineup for Sunday’s Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion, Newspremises reports.

Erik ten Hag who took charge at Manchester United on permanent basis from former interim manager, Ralf Rangnick earlier this summer, made his competitive debut, on the touchline later on Sunday.

Having named his first competitive starting XI, fans, prior to the club’s official announcement, were left to wonder if star attacker Ronaldo would feature.

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After missing out on the club’s pre-season tour of Australia, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was always likely to miss out on starting on Sunday, and that has now been confirmed.

The Dutch tactican in his pre-match press conference, explained that the 37-year-old was not fully fit and sharp enough to play from the beginning.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is working really hard to get in the right fitness levels, it will take time.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is working really hard to get in the right fitness levels, it will take time.

“He started pre-season last week… so it depends on how quick he is progressing,” Ten Hag said.

The Dutchman has however handed debuts to Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who signed this summer from Brentford and Ajax respectively.

Fellow new boy Tyrell Malacia is also named among the substitutes.

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