Ole Gunnar Solskjaer asked about a Ronaldo hat-trick against Newcastle United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been talking about Ronaldo’s second debut for Manchester United.
The 36 year old set to play against Newcastle United, either as a starter or from the bench, the Man Utd boss having already confirmed he will definitely get on the pitch at some point.
Ronaldo has only ever scored one hat-trick for Manchester United, it came in a 6-0 win on 12 January 2008.
No surprises for guessing it came against Newcastle United and it was 0-0 after 48 minutes!
For Real Madrid he then scored a remarkable 34 hat-tricks in La Liga matches, then another two in Serie A for Juventus.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists that: ‘It’s not about Cristiano, it’s about the team’, I’m not sure whether the media would agree…
As for another hat-trick against Newcastle United, I have little doubt that ultra defensive tactics from Steve Bruce will ensure Man Utd totally dominate the game and not many NUFC fans would be betting against another 6-0 scoreline and the potential of a goal or three for Ronaldo.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaking ahead of Manchester United v Newcastle United via the official club site:
Newcastle were on the receiving end of Ronaldo’s only Reds hat-trick back in 2008. Are you hoping he can have a similar impact on Saturday?
“Let’s see how the game goes.
“It’s not about Cristiano, it’s about the team.
“It’s about us continuing the good start we’ve had.
“It’s the best start since I’ve come in anyway. Seven points, of course we would have liked nine, but seven points is not a bad return after two difficult away games.
“We’re just ready to play in front of our fans again. The atmosphere was so electric against Leeds. I expect it to be even more so now…”
Ahead of our fixture against Newcastle at the weekend, how has the preparation been going?
“It’s been very good! There’s been internationals and you always cross your fingers that they come back fit. They’ve all come back with a good mood, they’ve had some good results, there’s been some goals and those who have been here have worked hard, prepared well and, of course, it’s an exciting game for everyone. I know that, with Cristiano coming back, that’s gonna take much of the headlines… But the team’s been very focused.”
As you said, we have to talk about Ronaldo being back at Carrington. What has it been like having him in training? Do you feel like he’s settled in quickly?
“He can speak for himself but for us it seems like he’s come home. He feels at home here, it looks like. He feels happy to be here, of course, and is very focused. I have to say, he’s kept himself in good nick and wants to start helping this team. That’s how he feels.
“He’s a Man. United player and he’s always been a Man. United fan and his family has been, so, of course, it’s a big day for the club, for us, but also for him.”
When we spoke to Ronaldo earlier this week, he said that he wanted to put pressure on you in order to make the starting eleven against Newcastle. Has he been doing just that?
“Yeah, by his performances and by the way he conducts himself. He comes into the club as, if not the, at least one of the greatest players of all time having played the game. He’s just slotted straight in. He wants the same as everyone, he’s a part of the team. It’s not like “what about me, what about me”. No, he does exactly what everyone else does and he’s still the same as when he left. Around the place he’s always in a good mood, he brings positive vibes.”
Has there been any discussion on who’s on free-kicks, penalties, now that Ronaldo has arrived? It must be great to have such amazing options at your disposal…
“I didn’t know you were going to ask but I expect everyone else to ask! That’s my decision, who takes the penalty in each game and that’s been communicated to them, so that’s all sorted.”
Sancho’s been back training after his knock with England. How has he been going?
“Yeah, of course, he’s disappointed having to come back with a small injury. Of course, he wanted to play for his country but he’s come back, worked with the physios and he’s trained with us a few days. He looks determined to come back and to play well when he’s asked upon.”
Everyone’s talking about Ronaldo’s return but Raphael [Varane] could make his home debut on Saturday. How much do you think the Old Trafford crowd will take to him and what are your first impressions working with him?
“Well, they enjoyed him walking out to the pitch before the Leeds game and I think that created some of the atmosphere, of course. I’m sure they’ll take to him, against Wolverhampton he showed what he was going to give us. He’s of course been away, played two games for France. Everyone knows his qualities, personality’s fantastic in and around the place, he’s a winner. To add him and Cristiano as proven winners in the group, with Jadon of course with his youth and enthusiasm… That’s been a big, big bonus. He’s impressed, he’s impressing every day.”
Finally, there’s so many leaders in the dressing room right now. Would you say that it makes your and you coaching staff’s job any easier trying to install the United mentality?
“The United mentality’s here now. I see the group, we got a group now with a good mood but it’s a focused mood. We know that we have assembled a squad that’s a good squad, a strong squad. There’s competitions for places, which is always helping and now it’s up to us as a team to get the results.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to firstname.lastname@example.org