Christian Eriksen insists football quickly moves on as Manchester United began life in the Premier League after Cristiano Ronaldo with a 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
Ronaldo’s demise at Old Trafford dominated the news agenda for several weeks following his refusal to come on as a substitute against Tottenham and his explosive TalkTV interview.
His exit was agreed during the World Cup break and United have quickly moved on, showing plenty of life in attack as they put Forest to the sword on Tuesday.
Marcus Rashford’s rich vein of form continued as he scored the opener and then made the second for Anthony Martial, with Fred’s late goal putting the gloss on the win which saw United close the gap on the top four.
Eriksen was proud to play with Ronaldo, but knows life moves on and said the mood in the camp is good.
“First of all we are sad that Ronaldo is not part of it, his legacy and his name at any club is special, for me to be fortunate to play with him in my career was very nice,” he said.
“The football goes on. You feel that the next game after, people will forget what it was like before and now our focus is really like he is not here.
“The atmosphere is good, we have a lot of people coming back from the World Cup, the last guys are coming back and everyone is coming together.
“The atmosphere is good. It helps winning games and also before we went away for the World Cup we had a few good games and good wins and it makes it easier to come back and start like this.”
Rashford’s form, with eight goals in 13 games for club and country, is a real tonic following Ronaldo’s exit.
Eriksen says the 25-year-old has returned from the World Cup with confidence and hopes he can continue firing for United.
“He played very well, luckily I haven’t been on the pitch where he has played a bad game yet,” he said.
“I let him continue that, he is looking sharp and confident and you can feel that when he is going forward.
“You feel that in the stadium and you feel that with him and it is a nice thing and I hope he keeps it going.
“You can see that he came back pretty confident. I didn’t see as much of his games of course, you guys will have seen more, but he came back in good shape and luckily he has taken that into United.”
United have confirmed that World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez joined the squad for a recovery session on Wednesday.
Ten days after helping Argentina prevail in Qatar with defeat of France in the final, the 24-year-old defender returned to Carrington with the club’s New Year’s Eve fixture against Wolves looming.
Martinez made four appearances for the new world champions but was an unused substitute for the final.