Carrick praises Ronaldo for not causing 'drama' after being dropped for Chelsea trip

Michael Carrick says dropping Cristiano Ronaldo was not a major decision despite the Portuguese being United's leading goal scorer this season

Michael Carrick (L) left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench as he made tactical changes for the 1-1 draw at Chelsea

Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo did not cause a fuss for being named on the bench for Sunday's match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Carrick noted that the decision to not include the five-time Ballon d'Or winner in his starting eleven was like any other team decision and did not generate any unexpected reactions.

Ronaldo was introduced in the 64th minute of Sunday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea, coming on for goalscorer Jadon Sancho. The Portuguese marksman could not affect proceedings as the Red Devils dug in for a much-needed point against the league leaders.

On his decision, Carrick has given nothing away, stating that this was only stretched beyond proportion and understandably so.

"I think them type of discussions get blown up really, a lot bigger than they probably are, when you're kind of inside the team or the club. Decisions are made for a lot of different reasons and of course certain ones get bigger news than others, but that's how it was," the interim manager said in his pre-match conference ahead of tonight's clash with Arsenal.

Carrick also downplayed the significance of the decision, stating that there was no unnecessary 'drama' within the squad due to the decision to drop Ronaldo.

He said: "I didn't see it as being a major decision. It certainly wasn't within the camp or group. We all got on really well. The game went well to an extent and it wasn't a drama at all. There are a lot of things you have to take into consideration when you make a decision on picking a team. Some players bring things to the table, other players bring other things to the table.

The caretaker manager noted that several factors affect picking a team which must be put into account.

“You have fitness, tiredness, freshness, there’s tactics, there’s personality and character within that. It seems like it is a big decision but really, between us and me personally, it wasn’t," Carrick explained.

The former United midfielder also praised Ronaldo's reaction to the decision, suggesting that the player remained as committed as always to the cause of the team.

“You can ask Cristiano, the way he responded was perfection really. Around the dressing room he was incredible, he supported the players. I went in to do my half-time team talk and he was warming up 10 minutes in advance ready to come on in the second half," Carrick concluded.

United will be in action again this night as they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford. A win for the Red Devils will reduce the margin to the Gunners to just two points and push them to at least eighth on the table. Mikel Arteta's Arsenal will move into the Top 4 if they secure all three points at the Theatre of Dreams.

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