Cristiano Ronaldo was left ‘bemused’ by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to praise his Manchester United players in the aftermath of a defeat earlier this season, according to reports.
Last Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Watford signalled the end of Solskjaer’s reign at Old Trafford and has now forced United to bring in Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.
United’s performances under Solskjaer had drastically dipped since the start of the season and the team have now been beaten in five of their last seven Premier League games.
Ronaldo continued to lead the line during United’s turbulent period with 10 goals in 14 appearances since his return, with Solskjaer becoming heavily reliant on the 36-year-old’s ability to single-handedly decide games.
But Ronaldo has been alarmed by United’s drop in standards and The Sunday Times reports that the five-time Balon d’Or winner challenged Solskjaer after the team were beaten 2-1 by Young Boys in the opening game of their Champions League group stage in September.
The report claims that Solskjaer told United’s players that he ‘liked the way they played’ and was ‘really happy’ with their attitude, but Ronaldo was ‘bemused’ by the Norwegian’s feedback to the team and pointed out that the performance was ‘awful’.
United were able to bounce back this week with a victory over Villarreal in the Champions League but they face another tough test this Sunday as they travel to Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Michael Carrick will take charge of the team once again and he has told United’s players that they still have a chance of a successful season once Rangnick takes over.
‘There’s plenty left in the season, there’s no doubt about that,’ said Carrick.
‘Of course, with where we are in the league and the results we’ve had, it’s frustrating and disappointing, but there’s so much left in the season.
‘The other night was massive to confirm we’ll be in the Champions League and finishing top of the group was huge, giving us something to look forward to.
‘Over time, not just here but other clubs, you have bad spells, sometimes really bad spells, in a season and you can almost have another season within a season when things change. That’s form, that’s football and confidence, it’s how football goes at times. Striving for consistency is always the balance that you want to get. That’s the gold standard.
‘Who’s to say that as a group of players they can’t go on a run again, they’ve proved over the last two or three years that they’re more than capable of going on a run and we’ll see where that takes us. But you need to take it step-by-step and start winning games and getting on a run and build momentum. Anything can happen after that.’
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