Eriksen explains Man Utd dressing room stance on Ronaldo exit

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Manchester United star Christian Eriksen has admitted players were saddened by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo last month. The Portugal international burned his bridges with the Red Devils following a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan, with the club then cutting him loose. Erik ten Hag wants to land a replacement next month, when the transfer window reopens, but isn’t guaranteed to get one with funds in short supply.

Manchester United had planned for the season with Ronaldo in mind, despite the 37-year-old previously pushing to leave back in the summer.

But they were rocked when he decided to give an interview to Morgan, where he criticised Ten Hag, the Glazers and many people associated with the club.

Ronaldo is now a figure of United’s past, with the veteran poised to move to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr as he enters the twilight years of his career.

Yet Eriksen, speaking after the club’s 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, has admitted players were saddened by his departure.

He said: ”First of all we are sad that Ronaldo is not part of it.

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“His legacy and his name at any club is special, and for me to be fortunate to play with him in my career was very nice.

“But the football goes on. You feel that the next game after, people will forget what it was like before – and now our focus is really like he is not here.”

Eriksen helped United put Forest to the sword on Tuesday, with Ten Hag’s side impressive as they claimed all three points.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial struck in the first half, with Fred then on target in the closing stages to make the game safe.

And Eriksen feels Ten Hag is making progress as United manager, insisting the Dutchman has transformed the mood behind the scenes.

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“It was the first Premier League game after the World Cup, so obviously to get going again is important, and now, of course with a 3-0 win at home, it is a good feeling and a good start,” continued the former Ajax, Tottenham and Inter Milan star.

“The atmosphere is good. We have a lot of people coming back from the World Cup, the last guys are coming back and everyone is coming together.

“The atmosphere is good. It helps winning games and also before we went away for the World Cup, we had a few good games and wins, and it makes it easier to come back and start like this.

“We are in a good place. The start of the season is very different compared to now.

“The football is different now to the beginning, it was a bit hit-and-miss in some games, but I think after that we picked up and have been building since.

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“You feel that in the group, you feel that the system is working, which is something you have to believe in and I think we are doing that now.”

Regarding Ronaldo, meanwhile, former United star Patrice Evra thinks his departure is good for everybody – including the veteran himself.

“I don’t know if it was the best decision but I think the club is happy, and Cristiano is happy because it was a heavy situation,” he stated.

“A lot of controversy, I think more people were talking about Cristiano Ronaldo than Manchester United and nothing is above the club.

“As a player he’s been hurt, he’s a human being, that’s why his last interview is not quite a great interview, because you can’t like talk bad about the club, but it shows he’s a human being.

“You can’t quite know what’s happening behind the scenes so that’s why I can’t talk for Cristiano Ronaldo – it’s between him and ten Hag.

“There was no way back, after that interview, the club, and even himself, he knew he would never play again for United, but let’s not forget what he achieved for the club.

“He’s one of the greatest players to have played for Man United, it’s sad the way it end, but that’s football.”

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