This time last week the Old Trafford giants were in the eye of a storm, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under intense pressure following a 5-0 home loss to rivals Liverpool.
United rallied impressively to win 3-0 at Tottenham in the Premier League and took another step forward in the Champions League on Tuesday as Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue.
The Portuguese star’s last-gasp strike sealed a barely-deserved 2-2 draw against Atalanta and left-back Shaw knows there is a lot of work to do despite the upturn in results.
“I think if you look at it, if you look at the group, (it was) an important point,” the England international said, with Solskjaer’s side top of Group F.
“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.
“But of course 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.”
United’s Champions League ambitions take a backseat for now as attention turns to Premier League matters and a huge clash against City.
Pep Guardiola’s men are the first opposition to head to Old Trafford since Liverpool crushed the Red Devils and Shaw is well aware of their current situation.
“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, ‘Ah, look, 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 because it’s at home and it’s a big game.”
The Manchester derby provides the kind of stage Ronaldo thrives on.
The 36-year-old was strongly linked with a controversial move to City in the summer before joining United, where he may still be finding his feet but has been scoring frequently.
“We kept going and, you know, when we need a goal, when we need something good to happen, we have Cristiano,” Shaw said after Ronaldo’s Bergamo brace took his tally for the season to nine.
“There’s no doubt that when that ball dropped to him (at the end) that it was going in the back of the net.”
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