Gary Neville has offered his take on how Manchester United can get more out of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has scored five goals in six games and won United’s player of the month for September.

But he looked visibly frustrated as he trudged off the pitch on Saturday after United’s 1-1 draw with Everton.

United are yet to get the best out of the Portuguese star and former defender Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to surround him with more hard working players.

Neville picked out Jesse Lingard as a potential key man to making this happen.

Manchester United v Villarreal CF: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Comparison to 2008 Ronaldo

Speaking to his Sky Sports podcast, Neville said: “Cristiano Ronaldo needs players around him who are going to work hard defensively. That was the same in 2008 by the way. In 2008, Ji Sung Park, Darren Fletcher, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, they all worked like trojans to make up for Cristiano in terms of what he was doing.

“You need players around him who are going to forgive that he isn’t going to press from the front, he isn’t going to run hard, he isn’t going to close people down. your almost carrying a player when you are out of possession. But we were 10-12 years ago and you forgive that because of his greatness and ability to win games.

“My view on it would be to pick a group of players alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, whether thats Cavani as well, who works hard and play Cristiano a little off to the left which is where I think he likes to play, and then around that you just get some really hard working [players], whether thats the great players or some dogs like Jesse Lingard and players like that.


“For Jesse Lingard today you have got Ji Sung Park years ago. The best players don’t make the best team.

“That’s why I had a career at Manchester United, why Darren Fletcher, Nicky Butt, Owen Hargeaves and players of that ilk had careers at Manchester United because you need soldiers alongside the generals that you have got. And Manchester United have got a lot of generals but unless those generals start working hard, they ain’t going to win anything.”

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Get Lingard more involved

Lingard provided the assist for Manchester United’s winner against Cristiano Ronaldo last week against Villarreal.

His hard work and endeavour around the six yard box provided Ronaldo with an opening, and he seized it.

So it was peculiar United did not give Lingard a single minute against Everton and seemed like a mistake on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s part.

Lingard has not started a Premier League game all season and United will need to change that.

The difficulty is that Lingard starting may be at the expense of Bruno Fernandes, but United need greater balance in terms of splitting playing time between the two.

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