Cristiano Ronaldo has said his primary role at Manchester United is to score the goals that fires the team to success, but says a period of adaptation must be allowed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to gel together his new-look squad.
The Portuguese’s second spell at Old Trafford got off to a lightning start, as Ronaldo netted a brace on his re-debut against Newcastle before following that up with strikes against Young Boys in the Champions League, and against West Ham in the Premier League.
He was then the goalscoring hero against Villarreal in the Champions League, and stood up to be counted once more on Wednesday against Atalanta – planting a bullet header into the corner to win the game for United 3-2, having trailed 2-0 at half-time.
But things aren’t all rosy for the Red Devils.
Solskjaer’s position as manager is coming under further scrutiny as the games and weeks pass, but Ronaldo has told Sky Sports that there must be time for the players to adapt and acclimatise – though he ultimately believes the club can, and will, be successful.
“We are in a moment in my opinion that Manchester (United) do a few changes; they buy me, they buy (Raphael) Varane and (Jadon) Sancho,” Ronaldo said, interviewed before Sunday’s huge Premier League clash with rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
“The adaptation will take time, even the system of the game that we play, but I think step by step we have to put it in our mind that everything is possible.
“I don’t speak only about my individual stuff, I put the collective in first place. To win things as a collective, it’s more easy to win individual stuff, so I believe that and I still think it’s possible.
Ronaldo also spoke of his role at United, suggesting that he has more responsibility than just scoring goals, and praised supporters for continuing to be “fantastic”.
The 36-year-old added: “Everyone should know their role. I know my role in the team, in the club… my role is to score goals, to help the team with my experience and know-how to understand the game.
“If everyone is thinking like that, sacrifice for the team, I think we will be a better team. We have fantastic supporters behind us, fantastic stadium, fantastic team, so we have to carry on like that.”
United currently trail Premier League table-toppers Chelsea by five points, having won just four of their opening eight games. They are winless in their last three, also, losing to Leicester and Aston Villa, also dropping points against Everton in a disappointing 1-1 draw.