Gary Neville has called for patience from Manchester United fans as the club continues in on-field struggles.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday, the loss coming as a shock after beginning the season with impressive performances against Chelsea and Wolves.
Former Manchester United defender Neville has called the club’s form ‘mystifying’ but has urged patience from the clubs supporters as they bid to re-establish themselves at the summit of English football.
“I think United are going to have moments like that in this period,” the former full-back said on the Gary Neville Podcast. “There is going to be pain and there are going to be defeats that you can’t quite explain.
“Beating Chelsea emphatically on the first day, playing well at Wolves and could’ve won the game. Then all of a sudden, you’re up against Crystal Palace and you lose at home – it’s quite mystifying.
“They’re the type of results you get when you’re trying to develop and change and transition out of one culture to another.
“All Man United have to do is remain patient and stick to what they’re doing.”
Solskjaer spent over £140m this summer on the likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, with Neville believing the club’s recruitment policy will be vital to their chances of closing the gap to the division’s leading sides. However, he has warned it may take ‘four or five’ transfer windows for the club to build a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League.
“The most important thing about the transfer window for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is that they don’t make mistakes, not that they do loads of business, but it’s about making sure they have the right type of players.
“It may seem like too far into the distance but I would suggest four or five transfer windows to get things absolutely right and get back to the type of squad he would want to challenge these Liverpool and Man City teams. I’ve said before, he’s got to be ready, not at the end of this season, not next season, but the one after, to challenge for the Premier League title.
“Potentially when Pep Guardiola has left Man City, or Liverpool have had another round of recruitment and another set of players in…Ole has got to be ready to pounce. It’s a long term thing, there’s not going to be quick fix or magic wand from any manager. United have tried David Moyes, they’ve tried Louis van Gaal, they’ve tried Jose Mourinho, all proven and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going down the long road, not the quick path.
“There’s no shortcut, there never is, and for me, it’s now about making it through these difficult moments, like losing to Crystal Palace and you feel like the world is going to fall in that but people must remain patient.
“I want to see the nonsense go, the speculation that players want to go, I want to see the disciplinary issues or the little tit-for-tat stuff over the last two or three years where there have been fall-outs, I want to see that go and the leaks. I want to see a team building slowly.”