Cristiano Ronaldo remains "an important part" of Erik ten Hag's plans at Manchester United and the Dutchman hopes he can "count on him" through the rest of the season.

The forward is absent for Saturday's Premier League clash against Chelsea after he was dropped for disciplinary reasons following his refusal to come on as a substitute during Wednesday's 2-0 win over Tottenham.

Ronaldo left the game early, heading down the Old Trafford tunnel before the final whistle, echoing his pre-season actions when he departed a friendly with Rayo Vallecano before the end.

Speaking ahead of his side's trip to the Blues, Ten Hag stressed it would be a one-and-done sanction for the Portugal forward and that he believes he can rely on the veteran across the remainder of the campaign.

"It is for this game and then we continue," he stated.. "I am open to that. For me, it is a strike.

"What we said in the statement is that Cristiano remains an important part of the squad and I count on him for the rest of the season. We want to fulfil our ambitions.

"What I said is I don't want to miss him. I want him to be in the squad and be involved for every game because he has an impact."

However, Ten Hag felt Ronaldo must accept the consequence of his actions, regardless of his standing within the sport.

"He has to be aware that you get justified [judged] by the moment and how you are acting today," he added.

"In top sport, it is about today -- it is not about age or reputation. When you have top sport, you get justified and judged by the moment and how you act.

"That is normal. Everyone has to be aware of it and not just Cristiano. We have to be aware of it as a team, a manager and a club."