Roy Keane insists that Manchester United must keep faith with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite predicting that things may not improve for a while.
A 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Monday means United have won only two of their first seven Premier League fixtures this season, leaving them down in 10th place.
They are already 12 points behind rivals and league leaders Liverpool, making it highly unlikely that the Red Devils will win their first title since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Keane lifted the Premier League trophy seven times during his 12 years at Old Trafford, and believes there will be “tough days” ahead for his former club.
However, the Irishman also stressed the importance of sticking with Solskjaer as United attempt to build a team capable of challenging at the top once more.
“100%,” Keane told Sky Sports when asked whether the club should back his former team-mate.
“They've given him the job and the contract, so support him and let him get on with it. Give him a couple of transfer windows. Are there more tough days ahead? You can bet your life there is. But they have to persevere.
"You need belief and quality but this United are lacking in both. The effort was there [against Arsenal] but they were lacking in quality.
“I thought United should go on to win comfortably but it's a mix of belief, confidence and quality – a combination of all those things. They're not cutting teams open. It's all on the counter-attack but that's where the team is at.
“It's hard work watching them, but I bet it's hard work for the players too. It's not happening but you've got to keep persevering – they have to get a big result soon just to get some confidence."
United face AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday, before a Premier League meeting with Newcastle at the weekend.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.