Former assistant manager Mike Phelan admits ’s ‘tougher mindset’ caused friction among the squad.
and scored 24 goals in his first season back at Old Trafford.
However, United endured a turbulent campaign as was sacked in the November following a run of just one win in seven Premier League games. , United ended up appointing Ralf Rangnick as interim manager for the remainder of the season and the team ended up finishing sixth in the table.
Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure in his second season at United under Erik ten Hag and following a bombshell interview in which he slammed the Dutchman, as well as the club’s hierarchy, .
Phelan worked with Ronaldo during both of his spells at United and has revealed that the 38-year-old made his frustration clear when he failed to galvanise certain members of the squad before his departure.
‘The second time round, he came in a lot older and a lot more opinionated, strong-willed,’ Phelan told .
‘He still had massively high standards and was terrific to work with. But I’d probably say a tougher mindset. He had been at Man United, he had been ’s ever-present, he had been at Madrid.
‘I liked it because he didn’t want his standards to drop, he wanted other people’s standards to come up. And sometimes you lose a few people along the way when that happens
‘I remember certain times when he pushed and pushed hard, and he didn’t get much reaction or much response. And there was frustration.
‘When you deal with top, top people, it’s about them and where they can finish and where they can get to. They want to look back and go, ‘wow, that was successful’. And he probably realised, and I don’t know as I never had that conversation with him, that he couldn’t do it at Manchester United. So his challenges were elsewhere.
‘He’s still playing international football, yes he’s in Saudi Arabia, but he’s still playing and scoring goals. He is doing all the things we knew he could do at Manchester United.
‘But a really good personality, hard-working and challenging. He challenged me as a coach, Carlos Queiroz as a coach and Sir Alex as a manager. But that’s good because it takes you to another level.’
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