Gary Neville defends Cristiano Ronaldo amid Man Utd struggles

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Gary Neville believes Cristiano Ronaldo needs some help at Manchester United.

Ronaldo struggled on Monday night as United disappointed in a 1-1 draw with strugglers Newcastle United.

Edinson Cavani managed to bail out his side after they had gone behind earlier in the game, but Ralph Rangnick’s men went into the clash expecting all three points.

They have now fallen off the top four pace, even with their games in hand, and Ronaldo has been singled out for criticism by some.

The Portuguese superstar struggled to make his impact felt and looked isolated up top, and not for the first time.

Manchester United legend Gary Neville spoke about the issue in his latest Sky Sports appearance, as cited by The Mirror, declaring: “He has to start.

“I think he has to start and he has to have a partner.

“He has to have a meaningful partner and the worry if you do put (Mason) Greenwood right of him and (Marcus) Rashford, if they get dragged back in defensive positions then he could end up exposed.

“He needs someone up top with him. I think he’s looked good with Rashford – that’s one of the benefits of this system, getting Rashford upfront alongside him has been great.

“Thirteen goals in 16 starts is some return – he’s doing what he was brought in to do, there’s no doubt about that.”

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United have plenty of attacking options between the likes of Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and maybe even Cavani.

But Rangnick has a tough job to get the right combination in his offensive plans.

He doesn’t exactly have time to experiment, either, with the bar for the top four increasing thanks to Arsenal and Tottenham’s form.

That’s the difficulty of coming in to take charge of a team during a season, but find answers he must, especially if United want to get the very best from Ronaldo.

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