Erik ten Hag warns Cristiano Ronaldo and Man Utd stars he won’t accept World Cup as an excuse for Fulham slip-up

FUL STEAM AHEAD ERIK TEN HAG has warned Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United team-mates he will not accept the World Cup as an excuse this weekend.

The Portuguese legend, 37, missed the Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa on Thursday night due to illness – just hours after his national team announced their squad for Qatar.

Erik ten Hag has fired a warning at Cristiano Ronaldo and his Man Utd team-mates.
His club manager expects him to have recovered in time for the final United fixture before the break – the trip to Fulham on Sunday.

Ten Hag wants all his players to be fully focused on Craven Cottage rather than linking up with their national teams hours later.

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Asked if Ronaldo will be ready, Ten Hag said: “I can’t guarantee that now and he was ill for the Aston Villa game.

“He can recover from that. It’s not a serious illness that takes days or weeks.

“I think it is possible that he is available for Sunday and that he will be in the squad.

“I think the players are all aware of the importance of the game against Fulham and I will not take the World Cup into consideration.

“We play the best team and until Sunday it is the interest of Manchester United and just for Manchester United.”

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Harry Maguire could find himself back on the bench for the trip to Fulham with Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof expected to start.


But Ten Hag has assured Gareth Southgate that the £80 million centre back will be ready for the World Cup if needed.

The Carabao Cup tie with Villa was only his second start since early September but ETH said: “I think so, he’s ready, yeah.

“I see him every day in training, I see him in games. He came back from injury, but he’s ready to perform on the highest level.”

While Maguire got some good news regarding the World Cup when the squad was announced on Thursday, it was disappointment for his United team-mate Jadon Sancho.

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Ten Hag says the former Borussia Dortmund man has been affected by illness in recent weeks and that has ruined his chances – although his early season form had been patchy.

He said: “It’s been up and down. He had some really good performances and I think he was in a good direction.

“But the last weeks he struggled with illness and then it’s normal that you don’t get selected because every manager will only take fit players to the World Cup.”

Jadon Sancho missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

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