Premier League-winning defender Martin Keown has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for trying to change the attitude at Manchester United.
The 36-year-old discussed in an interview earlier this week a number of issues currently stifling the Reds from reaching their complete possible in the English top-flight.
Ronaldo returned to United in the summer but whilst his performances have been to a good standard, collectively the showings and results haven’t followed.
Keown believes the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was left shocked by what he returned to in September, after 12 years away with standards slipping significantly from Sir Alex Ferguson’s serial winning sides.
“He’s letting us in to the mindset of a champion, that’s what he is. He’s talking about how senior players would talk to him give him direction and take it on board because ‘that’s what I have to do this to be a top player,'” he told talkSPORT.
“I think he’s walked into the dressing room a little bit shocked and surprised but also in that extended interview he talks about players not going to the gym and not doing additional training when training finishes and he’s a little bit surprised by that.
“He realises in order to be successful you have to change that. And he’s trying to change the mindset which has been allowed to happen, when he arrived at that football club they were very successful the first time around, it’s not like that this time around. The mindsets changed in any case bad habits have changed and he has to change that and it isn’t easy.
“Perhaps he’s made it public to try to tell people and they’re not really listening, he doesn’t want to be the only player in the gym, only player with a bag of balls practising free-kicks at the end of training, he wants the young players to buy into that. It is a habit and a culture that’s crept into Manchester United, maybe that’s the root of the problem there.”
United are six points off the Champions League places with two games in hand on West Ham, who occupy fourth, a win over Aston Villa this weekend would see them leapfrog Spurs and edge closer to the European spots.
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