Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson’s past comments ring true as the competitions start building up for current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils have Carabao Cup, Premier League and Champions League fixtures coming up within the next week.
Now in his third full season, Solskjaer will be desperate to lift his first piece of silverware as Man United manager.
The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is bound to help achieve that goal, but the 36-year-old physically won’t be available in every match.
Solskjaer has a wealth of quality in depth throughout his squad and will have to use it in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash at home to West Ham United.
Ronaldo has started all three games since returning to Old Trafford in the summer, scoring four goals.
But Solskjaer may have to take a leaf out of his former boss’ book and exclude the Portuguese ace against the Hammers, with upcoming tests in mind.
Back in the 2008/09 season, as Man United vyed for more silverware under Ferguson, the Scotsman explained the need to utilise his entire squad to challenge on all fronts.
In January 2009, Ferguson had to navigate an FA Cup third-round clash against Southampton, a two-legged League Cup affair with Derby County and a Premier League encounter with title rivals Chelsea.
On the eve of the trip to St. Mary’s in the FA Cup, Ferguson responded to reporters questioning whether he’d rest Ronaldo amid the fixture pile-up.
He shared his mindset, which makes fascinating reading given his success in an array of competitions throughout his 27-year stint at the helm.
He said: “We’ve got a big month ahead, and the key is going to be how I navigate it with the 23 players I have.
“All of those players are going to have to play their part, particularly against Southampton and in the two legs against Derby.
“Obviously, there is a big game against Chelsea coming up next Sunday, which I’ve got one eye on.
“So it’s a busy spell we’ve got coming up, and we have to give careful consideration to the teams we pick. We’re competing for all four [major trophies].”
Ronaldo was rested against Southampton, but Man United beat the Saints 3-0 before thumping Chelsea by the same scoreline and Derby 4-3 on aggregate to reach the League Cup final.
Although the Red Devils tasted defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals and the Champions League final that season, Ferguson secured another Premier League title and lifted the League Cup after beating Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Solskjaer must share the iconic manager’s mindset if he’s to achieve similar success and turn his late runs in competitions into trophies.
Expect Ronaldo to make the bench at most against West Ham, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Victor Lindelof all receiving chances to impress.