Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has urged his team-mates not to get carried away despite the 3-0 win over Tottenham and last-gasp equaliser at Atalanta, adamant they are still in a “rut”.
United suffered a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool in October that briefly looked as though it could cost manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job.
The club resisted the urge to sack the Norwegian and he oversaw a comprehensive 3-0 win at Tottenham last Saturday in response, his switch to a back three and use of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack paying dividends.
Ronaldo was again decisive on Tuesday as United twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Atalanta, the Portugal star scoring both goals including a stoppage-time leveller.
The equaliser represented a seismic shift in United’s Champions League outlook: a defeat would have left them in real danger of being eliminated in their next game away to Villarreal, but they will go to Spain at the top of Group F.
Shaw, who has been among the most criticised United players in recent weeks, says they cannot afford to take the past two results for granted, particularly with Manchester City up next on Saturday.
4 – Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player to score in four consecutive UEFA Champions League appearances for Manchester United since Ruud van Nistelrooy in April 2003 (in a run of nine). Striking. #ATAMUN pic.twitter.com/SbfaA9Il1e
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“We have to keep this attitude,” he told beIN SPORTS. “I think just because we beat Spurs 3-0 and we picked up a point here, we can’t put our heads down, we can’t get comfortable.
“We can’t think, ‘we’ve done it now, we’ve got out of our rut and everything’s perfect, everything’s fine’. It’s not.
“We know we need to dig deep. We know we’re not in a good situation, we know what we’ve been doing hasn’t been good enough.
“As a team we’ve talked about that inside the dressing room, so the games didn’t come any easier, so we need to be ready for this one [the City game] because it’s at home and it’s a big game.”
United failed to get out of their group last season and dropped into the Europa League, ultimately losing to Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the final.
Shaw believes United are heeding lessons from last season’s struggles, which showed just how important it can be to turn a defeat into a draw.
“I think if you look at it, if you look at the group, [this was] an important point,” he continued. “Of course, it’s not what we wanted, we wanted three points, but I think you have to look at the way the game went and the score towards the end, I think you would take a point in this situation.
“We know we’ve still got a lot to improve on. You know the results the last couple of games have been a bit better, but we’ve still got work to do and we’re sort of in charge of our own group now.”
He added to MUTV: “We obviously learnt from last year really, we needed to. We don’t want to be in that situation again.”
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