Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister says too many people are rushing to judge the club after their Premier League opener and has urged fans not to panic.
United were beaten 2-1 by Swansea City at Old Trafford in Louis van Gaal’s first competitive match in charge, following a 100 per cent record in pre-season, which included wins over Liverpool, Real Madrid and Roma.
Pallister believes, therefore, that it’s unfair to criticise the Dutchman’s side based on those 90 minutes of football and has backed his former club to bounce back on the weekend against Sunderland.
‘One result doesn’t make a season and there is certainly no need to panic. We saw enough in pre-season to expect a vast improvement on last season,’ he said, speaking as part of Chevrolet's ‘What do you #PlayFor?’ campaign.
‘On paper we have an easier start to the season than last year and I expect United to bounce back at Sunderland on Sunday. There is time to get it right before we start meeting the big guns, but, equally, you don’t want too many results like Saturday and be falling behind before we reach that stage.’
Much has been made of United’s lack of transfer activity in recent weeks, having only brought in Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw for a combined £56 million until Tuesday's £16 million signing of Marcos Rojo, with some concerned that the club are leaving it too late to do their business.
Pallister, however, remains optimistic about the reports of a possible swoop for Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria, and isn't worried about potentially having to pay over the odds during the latter stages of the transfer window.
‘When you are not in the Champions League it becomes harder and harder to get your transfer targets and so the number one priority for Van Gaal going forward this season is to make sure that we get back in the top four,’ he added.
‘Despite that, a club with the pull of United will always attract top players and Van Gaal’s presence should help further. There was a lot of negativity around last season and Van Gaal won’t stand for that. He will nip that in the bud because he is very proactive.
‘Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo will all add to the squad, but there needs to be one or two big name additions. Winger Angel Di Maria is being mentioned and he would be great, but it isn’t easy to prise players of his ability away from clubs like Real Madrid.
‘Perhaps with United not being in the Champions League this season, Real might be more willing to sell to us than before. Just like Van Persie two seasons ago, he will make such a difference to our season if he arrives.
‘There is no secret that Van Gaal has been looking to strengthen in a couple of positions, in central defence and central midfield, but he will not rush a signing until he gets what he wants, even if it means paying a bit over the odds.’