Ryan Giggs has said Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement cannot be used an excuse for Manchester United's poor start to the season.
United have not lost three straight Premier League games for 12 years -- but that will happen if David Moyes' side are defeated at Sunderland on Saturday.
And player-coach Giggs has spoken out as United look to click back into form after losing three of their first six league games of the season.
"I can't put my finger on what's happened," he was quoted as saying in the Mirror. "We have just not played as well as we can, both individually and as a team.
"Sir Alex was a great manager and a great influence on the team and the club. You're going to miss someone like that, but I don't think that's an excuse when individuals aren't playing as well as they can.
"We know the quality in the dressing room. We're the champions, so we showed that quality last year and we have to show it again. We are not playing well as a team, but we haven't got injury problems as we have had in the past, so there is no excuse."
Giggs said there was plenty of time for United to transform their situation, adding: "You would rather be showing this form at the start of the season than at the end.
"You have just got to hang in there to the turn of the year and then hopefully hit a bit of form like we historically do.
"It's a weird season so far. City have been beaten twice. Nobody has hit the ground running who we'd have expected to. Obviously Arsenal are playing well, Tottenham and Liverpool are at the top, but there’s enough time for us to turn it around and get back to the top and stay there.
"There are other teams getting beaten around us. We have plenty of time, but we need to start doing it quickly, and at the weekend."