Sir Alex Ferguson has backed under-fire Louis van Gaal and has urged fans to be patient during the club’s current tribulations.
Despite being only a point off the top four in sixth place and a replay away from a Wembley FA Cup semi-final, United exited the Champions League after the group stage, were knocked out of the Europa League by arch-rivals Liverpool and lost to Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup.
There has been growing unrest among large sections of the support about Van Gaal’s handling of the team and the way they play but Ferguson, who still attends almost every match home and away, insists they should not be too quick to judge.
“It is dead easy to be critical,” he told Sky Sports.
“You have to be realistic about some things – the number of injuries he has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, (Antonio) Valencia, (Luke) Shaw, these are big losses.
“It doesn’t matter which team you are, if you have players missing of that calibre it has to have an impact on the team.
“The other aspect which is always easy to forget there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in (Anthony) Martial and Memphis (Depay) and their promise is good.
“You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby’s time, in my time.
“For 150 years of history it is worth having a couple of years on the quiet side of success because they will always come back and come back strong.”